This post brought to you by National Institute on Drug Abuse. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Homegrown & Healthy.
Did you know? Most substance use among teens is dropping, with numbers reaching the lowest levels in 40 years. That’s good news, but parents still play an important role in preventing their children from starting to use drugs.
One of the perks of being a young mother is that it’s always been easy for me to talk openly to my teen about things. You know, typical chit-chat like hair and makeup, which has opened up the doors to more intense things, like boys, drugs and alcohol.
I know it’s tough for my family to hear us talk about topics like this– my daughter is officially a teen now but it’s hard for other people to see her in that light. But I understand the importance of addressing these issues early and frequently.
I’m not alone in thinking this way, though. National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week℠ (NDAFW) is all about taking to your teens about drugs. It’s an annual, week-long observance that brings together teens and scientific experts to SHATTER THE MYTHS about substance use and addiction.
The observance isl being held this week, January 25-31, 2016, and is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health.
We know as parents that one of the biggest struggles we face is getting our kids to understand that the thing they hear in the media aren’t always accurate. Teens are bombarded with with all kinds of myths about drug use. So how do we teach them the facts? NDAFW started in 2010 to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens often hear from the Internet, TV, movies, music, or friends. Since its inception, the number of community-based events held to SHATTER THE MYTHS has grown dramatically, with more than 1,500 held last January throughout all 50 states and several international sites. These events link teens with scientists and other experts, creating a safe place for teens to ask questions about drug and alcohol facts, without judgment or lectures.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from parents is that it’s hard for them to talk to their kids when times have changed so much since we were their age! One of the key resources for NDAFW is the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge.
It’s a 12-question multiple choice quiz that you and your kids can take to test your knowledge about drugs. So don’t know what you’re talking about? That’s totally fine! You can take the IQ Challenge and use the results to start a conversation with your teen about drugs and alcohol. I was surprised at how much things have changed since I was in high school– the things that teens deal with today are totally different!
What about you? Do you have teenagers and struggle with how to talk to them about these topics? Hop over to the site and check out all of their resources.