Parents and Caregivers are the Single Most Powerful Influence in a Child’s Life

“Youth who learn the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use.”

– Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Parents are the single most powerful influence in a child’s life. By starting the conversation early with your child, and continuing the conversation through the teen years, you can help prevent alcohol and drug use.

Casco Bay CAN provides parents with the latest data, talking points, tips, training, and other free resources to help prevent alcohol and drug use. We also facilitate group meetings, including Table Talks, so parents can share information and support one another in their efforts to raise healthy children, free of drugs and alcohol.

Remember, you are not alone. MOST parents don’t approve of underage drinking and drug use.

Learn more by visiting our website here

Listeners Ask: Teens & Drinking and Anxiety vs. Intuition

Listen to this podcast episode from Lynn Lyons, Psychotherapist, Anxiety and Children​ that answers two listeners questions:

A mom discovers her 15 year old has been thinking of drinking to manage her stress. What are the conversations parents should be having with their teens around stress, substance abuse and peer pressure?

And another mom raised by an anxious parent is trying to break the cycle with her daughters. She asks Lynn how to know when the voices inside her head are generational patterns of worry repeating or intuitive warnings. How does anxiety filter the decisions we make and the information we receive?

Listen here!

Understanding Why Kids Use Drugs and Alcohol

Today’s teens are growing up in an environment with pressures, stress and priorities vastly different from when we were their age. If you’re concerned that your son or daughter might be using drugs or alcohol — or if you know they are — it’s important that we, as parents, consider why. Some teens turn to drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons, like fitting in, socializing, experiencing life transitions or dealing with emotional and psychological pain. Here’s why it’s important for you to recognize why kids might be drawn to substances and what you can do about it.

Read what parents can do and helpful conversation tips fro The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, here.

Why Teens Use Drugs and Alcohol

Should You Tell Your Teen You Tried Alcohol or Drugs?

The Wall Street Journal says to be honest with your children without making past recklessness sound entertaining as it can help them make smarter choices.

Read the full article here

50 Questions To Engage Your Child

A parent has posed 50 questions that you can ask your child to get them engaged at the end of the day.
Questions include:

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?

To read all of the questions please click here

SAMHSA’s Underage Drinking App for Parents

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a mobile application which helps parents talk to their kids about underage drinking. The app helps to:

  • Practice bringing up the topic of alcohol
  • Learn the questions to ask
  • Get ideas for keeping the conversation going

Learn more about the application here

What Parents Need to know about Underage Drinking during Alcohol Awareness Month

An excerpt from Constance Scharff, PhD, Director of Addiction Research Cliffside Malibu and a recognized speaker/book author on addiction recovery, women’s health, and overcoming trauma:

“Here are tips for parents to consider when talking to their kids about alcohol.

  1. Drinking early is not a normal ‘rite of passage.’ While Harvard University reports that the average age for first alcohol use for girls is 13 and for boys, 11, drinking is not a necessary or normal activity for children. These averages indicate that a large number of children begin drinking alcohol at a very young age. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that nearly a third of eighth graders reported drinking in the last year. Rather than write this drinking off as normal experimentation, adults should be aware that children who begin drinking very young are at a higher likelihood of developing substance abuse disorders later in life and are giving a clear indication that there is probably something wrong in their lives with which they do not have the tools to cope.
  2. Kids listen more than parents think they do. The eye rolls and exasperated expressions are hard to deal with. But studies show that kids really do listen when adults talk to them about alcohol and alcohol abuse. What’s important is that parents not make these conversations one off “talks” in which everyone is on edge, waiting for the conversation to end. Instead, frequently discuss with your children your expectations of them. Talk to them about the consequences of their actions, about how they can’t always see around the corner, but you can. For example, young people who drink are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than those who don’t. A night of drinking that ends in rape and an unintended pregnancy are not the types of scenarios young people are thinking about when they grab a bottle out of someone’s liquor cabinet. Don’t scare your kids, but be real with them about what drinking can do.
  3. Listen as much as you talk. Conversation is a two way street. Give your children ample opportunity to talk with you about the stresses and pressures they face. Have family time often, during which all the electronic devices (even yours!) are put away and you can really engage with one another. What your kids share may surprise you. If you are willing and able to listen to your children, they are much more likely to come to you in times of need and confusion as they wrestle with their growing independence.”

 

Growing Number of Marijuana Shops in Denver Close to Schools

As legal marijuana has proliferated in Denver, city officials concerned about exposure to children long have tried to keep pot shops at least 1,000 feet from schools.

Yet more than two dozen schools in the city now are located closer than that to stores selling medical or recreational marijuana, according to a Denver Post analysis of city data. The Post identified 25 shops closer than 1,000 feet to at least one nearby school, out of 215 medical, recreational or dual shops. Reads the full article here.

 

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The Teen Brain: Why Do Teens Act This Way?

From the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: Have ever looked at your teenager and wondered: “Why does my teen do that?”

From mood swings to risk taking, “normal teenage behavior” can appear to be anything-but-normal to parents and other bystanders. However, new research reveals that patterns of brain development during these formative years play a significant role in shaping your teen’s personality and actions.

Scientists are beginning to learn that it takes a brain about 25 years to fully develop, and that a huge burst of development happens during adolescence. That burst can explain a lot of unpredictable – and sometimes risky – teen behavior.