Did you know that the human brain continues to develop up to the age of 25? That means that, just like their bodies, teens’ brains are still growing, and using alcohol during these formative years can damage developing brains, specifically the areas in charge of memory, decision making, and impulse control. Using alcohol can also make it more difficult for teens to have successful school, social, and family lives and increases the likelihood of alcohol and other drug addiction later in life. In addition, studies show that the brains of 15 year-olds who abused alcohol were much less active than those of 15 year-old non-drinkers.
Waiting until the age of 21 to begin using alcohol can help reduce these risks. Talking to your children about your rules and expectations that they will not use alcohol or other drugs is an important step you can take to keep them safer. Encourage your children to visit our Be the Future U Youtube channel to learn ways to decline using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
To learn more about how to talk to your children and teens and set clear and helpful rules about alcohol and other drugs please visit www.mass.gov/maclearinghouse or call 1-800-952-6637 (TTY: 1-617-536-5872) to download or order free parent resources, some booklets are available in multiple languages. To learn about activities for youth in your area visit www.mass211help.org or call 2-1-1 (TTY: 508-370-4890).
If you have concerns about loved ones’ alcohol or drug use, visit www.helpline-online.com or call 1-800-327-5050 (TTY: 1-888-448-8321) 7 days a week. You can ask questions in confidence, or get information on prevention or counseling programs.
Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA posted on Apr 23
Registration for the 19th Annual Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference is open! This event, to be held May 20, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA attracts professionals from local public health organizations, long-term-care facilities, pharmacies, college health, hospitals, physician practices, community health centers, employers, health …Continue Reading Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse