Resources for Parents & Teens

Helpful Links + Resources

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. Below are some helpful tools, information and resources that could give assistance in the journey toward prevention.


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.

Facts + FAQ

Quick Facts
  • 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.
  • More than 60 percent of teens said that drugs were sold, used, or kept at their school in the U.S.A.
  • 20 percent of Blaine County 8th graders report that they have tried marijuana.
  • Nationally, 28 percent of teens know a classmate or friend who has used ecstasy (Teen Substance Abuse).
  • 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.
  • Underage drinking costs the United States more than $58 billion every year.
  • Nationally, teens who begin drinking by age 15 are 4 times more likely to develop addiction than if they abstain until age 21.
  • Nationally, teens that drink are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than teens who never consume alcohol. 63 percent of the youth who drink alcohol say that they initially got the alcohol from their own or their friend’s homes.
What is Teen Substance Abuse?
Many teens try alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Some teens try these substances only a few times and stop. Others can’t control their urges or cravings for them. This is substance abuse. Teens may try a number of substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, household chemicals (inhalants), prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and illegal drugs. Teens use alcohol more than any other substance. Marijuana is the illegal drug that teens use most often.
Why Do Teens Abuse Drugs & Alcohol?
  • They want to fit in with friends or certain groups.
  • They like the way it makes them feel.
  • They believe it makes them more grown up.
Teens with family members who have problems with alcohol or other drugs are more likely to have serious substance abuse problems. Also, teens who feel that they are not connected to or valued by their parents are at greater risk. Teens with poor self-esteem or emotional or mental health problems, such as depression, also are at increased risk.
What Problems Can Teen Substance Abuse Cause?
Substance abuse can lead to serious problems such as poor schoolwork, loss of friends, problems at home, and lasting legal problems. Alcohol and drug abuse is a leading cause of teen death or injury related to car crashes, suicides, violence, and drowning. Substance abuse can increase the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, because of unprotected sex. Even occasional alcohol use by a teen increases the risk for future alcohol and drug problems. Even casual use of certain drugs can cause severe health problems, such as an overdose or brain damage. Many illegal drugs today are made in home labs, so they can vary greatly in strength. These drugs also may contain bacteria, dangerous chemicals, and other unsafe substances.
What are the Signs of Teen Substance Abuse?

It’s important to be aware of the signs that your teen may be abusing alcohol, drugs, or other substances. Some of the signs include:

  • Red eyes and health complaints, such as being overly tired. If your teen often uses over-the-counter eyedrops, he or she may be trying to cover up red eyes caused by smoking marijuana.
  • Less interest in school, a drop in grades, and skipping classes or school altogether.
  • New friends who have little interest in their families or school activities.
  • Chemical-soaked rags or papers, which may mean that your teen is inhaling vapors. Other signs of this are paint or other stains on your teen’s clothing, hands, or face.
What Should You Do If Your Teen is Using Alcohol, Pills, Tobacco or Drugs?
If your teen is using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, take it seriously. One of the most important things you can do is to talk openly with your teen about the problem. Urge him or her to do the same. Try not to use harsh, judging words. Be as supportive as you can during this time. The Drug Coalition supplies home drug test kits at no cost, with instructions for their use and suggested course of actions in the case of a positive test result. Family drug testing can encourage healthy decision making, provide an out for youth facing peer pressure, and facilitate family discussion and awareness of substance use in the community. In most cases, a hostile, angry face-to-face meeting pushes your teen away from the family. If you don’t know what to do or if you feel uncomfortable, ask for help from a pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist. The type of treatment your teen needs depends on the level of substance abuse. For example, if a teen has tried drugs or alcohol only a few times, talking openly about the problem may be all that you need to do. But if a teen has a substance abuse problem, then he or she needs to be seen by a doctor, a counselor, or both. If your teen is addicted to a drug or alcohol, he or she may need to have detoxification treatment or a treatment that replaces the substance with medicine. Medicine works best if it is combined with one-on-one or family counseling, or both. Returning to substance abuse, called relapse, is common after treatment. It is not a failure on the part of your teen or the treatment program. Recovery from addiction is hard and takes time. Know that there may be setbacks that your teen will need to overcome one step at a time.
Can Teen Substance Use and Abuse be Prevented?
  • Talk to your child early about what you expect in his or her behavior toward alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. If your teen thinks that you will allow substance use, he or she is more likely to try drugs or alcohol.
  • Keep your teen busy with meaningful activities, such as sports, church programs, or other groups.
  • Expect your teen to follow the household rules. Set reasonable penalties for bad behavior, and consistently carry them out.
  • Keep talking with your teen. Praise your teen for even the little things he or she does well.
  • Know your child’s friends. Having friends who avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs may be your teen’s best protection from substance abuse.

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