Posted by: Kathleen Whelton and Avi Pinals who both work in the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services
Marijuana is the most used illegal drug among youth. Almost half of U.S. teens will have tried marijuana at least once by the time they graduate high school. As a parent, you play an important role in helping your teen stay away from drugs. Talking to our children about drug abuse isn’t easy, but it is essential. You have the power to influence your teenagers’ lives for the better. As you think about starting a conversation about drug use with your kids, here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Sit down with them and tell them how you feel about illegal drugs. From the start, explain that you have their best interests at heart and that they have your full support.
2. Learn about and share the risks of marijuana use. In addition to being illegal, marijuana can have very negative effects on your teenager’s life. Kids who smoke are at an increased risk for drugged driving, panic attacks, mental illness including schizophrenia, attention problems, memory loss, lung/throat/mouth cancer, and using other dangerous and addictive drugs.
3. Set clear “no use” rules for alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. Let them know that if they lose your trust, they will lose a privilege that is important to them for a period of time. Follow through if they break your rules. Recognize and reward your children for good behavior and positive efforts. Even if your teen doesn’t like your rules, they may be thankful to be able to tell their friends, “I can’t go there, or I’ll get grounded for a week!”
For resources on how to keep your kids safe from drugs and alcohol visit the Bureau of Substance Abuse Service's website. To learn about activities and services in your area for youth visit http://www.mass211help.org or call 2-1-1 (TTY: 508-370-4890). If you have concern about a loved ones’ drug or alcohol use, visit http://www.helpline-online.com or call 1-800-327-5050 (TTY: 1-617-536-5872) 7 days a week.
Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier! posted on Feb 11
I used to think that Halloween through New Year’s was the hardest time of the year to stick to my goal of eating healthfully, considering leftover candy from trick or treating, Thanksgiving dinner, holiday parties and gatherings—the list goes on and on. By the time …Continue Reading Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier!
Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 10
This month’s Public Health Council meeting featured a series of presentations and discussions on proposed amendments to regulations, followed by informational updates on select Department initiatives. First the Council received updates from the Department on the status of proposed amendments to regulations related to: Safety Requirement for …Continue Reading Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting
Weekly Flu Report, February 5, 2016 posted on Feb 5
The latest weekly flu report shows that flu rates rose again in Massachusetts during the past 7 days. It’s absolutely not too late to get a flu shot if you haven’t already. As a matter of fact, we can expect flu to continue to circulate in …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 5, 2016