Adolescent Substance Use

Adolescent Substance Use: What can parents do?

Youth that engage with substances, including alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, and even misuse prescription drugs, are at a high risk of adverse outcomes such as injury, poorer academic performance or school dropout, criminal justice involvement, and even loss of life.

Some youth are at an increased risk for substance use.  So what are parents to do?  Knowing the risks can help parents and caregivers be aware of whether their own child is at risk.  It is important that parents be aware of substances used by youth today, the lingo and hiding place where substances may be stored.  With open and honest communication about risks, parents/caregivers can help protect youth from engaging in risky behaviors and encourage them to make healthy decisions and protect their health now and in the future.

The two-hour program, developed by faculty at Purdue University, provides data, activities, videos, tips and handouts for parents and caregivers of youth.  “Adolescent Substance Use: What can parents do?”  informs parents/caregivers about:

  • Substances teens currently use
  • The risks of addiction and overdose with youth
  • Adolescent characteristics that can contribute to substance use
  • Prevention strategies that work
  • Understand family relationships and peer influences on substance use
  • Links between availability and access to substances
  • Real-life tips on how to leverage strategies and address concerns to help prevent substance use