Community Awareness for Parents & Teens
Community Awareness for Youth & Parents
Our community has overwhelming amount of young people using prescription drugs and alcohol. We are actively facilitating and developing programs and strategies for preventing underage substance abuse in order to increase the health and safety of our community, focusing on our youth.
Even more alarming is the fact that teens are learning more about the possibilities associated with these drugs through television advertisements. The Internet also provides a wealth of information regarding the use and mixing of these drugs for a “personalized effect”. Unfortunately, since these drugs have a medical use, teens often believe that they are less risky than illegal drugs. As the use and abuse of these drugs are life-threatening, the risks must be reduced. Parents can help to reduce the risks by setting clear expectations, maintaining an inventory of the prescription drugs in the home, monitoring Internet use, and keeping the line of communication open by talking to their kids about the risks of abusing prescription or OTC drugs. The misinformation that surrounds the use and abuse of prescription drugs certainly lends to the growing problem. Whether it is parents not understanding the risk or teens assuming they cannot be hurt, the misinformation can lead to death. Proper education on both sides can go a long way to eliminating the risk for a teen within the home.
Youth, Parents and Educators can learn about the benefits of delaying substance use until young people’s brains are fully developed. Learn about the scientific research regarding the effects of substances on the developing brain, learn about dependence and addiction, explore methods of recovery, and better understand this complicated issue. By learning about the facts, young people are better equipped to make more informed decisions regarding substance use–decisions that will ultimately be theirs, and theirs alone.
THE FACTS are:
Did You Know...
- Alcohol kills 6 1/2 times more teenagers than all other illicit drugs combined in the United States.
- Nationally, teenagers whose parents talk to them on a regular basis about the dangers of drug use are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don’t.
- 20 percent of Blaine County 8th graders report that they have tried marijuana.
- Blaine County youth typically self report much higher substance abuse rates than their state and national peers.
- Nationally, kids who learn about drug risks from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use, but only 1 in 10 parents say they’ve spoken to their kids about drugs.
- Short-term or moderate drinking impairs learning and memory far more in youth than adults.
- The adolescent brain is more sensitive to the reward chemicals that are released by drugs and alcohol. As a result, early alcohol use sets into motion lifelong cravings for alcohol.
- Those who begin drinking before the age of 14 are four to five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who wait until the age of 21.
- The parts of the brain that control planning, problem-solving, impulse and emotional control are still “in progress” as people reach their mid-twenties. This helps explain why young adults engage in risky behaviors when we believe they should know better.
More Facts about drug + alcohol abuse:
Interestingly, Idaho also has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States:
Sadly, the states that show the greatest rates of abuse for a certain drug also tend to show the lowest perception of associated risk, even among minors.
Prescription drugs continue to be attractive to teens as they are often more easily acquired. These drugs are being abused by teens as they often deliver the same euphoria as illegal drugs without the cost. Now, studies show that roughly one in five teens are intentionally abusing prescription drugs and about one in 10 report using cough medicine to get high.