PREVENTION & EARLY INTERVENTION
You are the first line of prevention
Prevention of drug and alcohol use starts at home. Parents, guardians, and other caregivers are critical components in preventing youth substance use and abuse. Studies indicate that kids who learn about the risks of substance use at home are less likely to use alcohol and drugs.
It's never too early to talk about substance use
Talking to your child while they are young can create a strong foundation for awareness of drug use. It keeps the lines of communication open and provides them with the tools they need to resist temptation.
Discussions about alcohol and other drugs should be an ongoing process, not a single event. Risk factors for substance use can change and increase as teenagers weather the trials and pressures of adolescence. The types of conversations you have may change as your child develops, but it’s important to keep them centered on your child’s safety.
Take advantage of every day moments to point out and share things you’d like your child to know about substance use. Click here for some scenarios and approaches to help you get the conversation started.
Prevention works when you care
As teens and young adults enter a stage in life where they are becoming more independent, it’s important for you to continue playing an active role in their life. Your willingness to talk and listen shows your teen that you care about what they are interested in, and it provides you with insight into their world.
Click here for ways to build and strengthen your relationship with your teen.
Early intervention is critical
If you suspect your child is using drugs or alcohol, it’s important to intervene early. Data suggests that patterns of substance use and abuse may increase as your child continues to grow and develop. Individuals who begin using alcohol or tobacco when they are very young are more likely to abuse them later in life, when it becomes much more difficult to quit.
If you learn that your child is using or has used alcohol or drugs, it’s important to be prepared to respond. Addressing the substance use and seeking treatment services, if necessary, can steer your child back on a positive development track. Resources and experts are available. You can help protect your child’s future.
If you or your teen are struggling with mental health or substance use issues, FirstLink’s 2-1-1 helpline is available 24/7 to connect you to the services you need. Also, be sure to check out our Crisis Roadmap to learn about other community resources available to support you and your family.