The middle school years... that tricky time when kids catapult into puberty. Hormones surge, while affectionate hugs are replaced with eye rolls and dismissive behavior. It's also a time when many kids begin pushing their boundaries. One thing we do know is that when it comes to substance use prevention throughout the teen years, families and communities hold the key. Families that talk early and often about drugs and alcohol have better outcomes and can reduce the likelihood that their kids will engage in risky behaviors. Many of the resources on this page will equip you with the knowledge you need to engage in those positive conversations. We continually add new resources to this page, so please check back frequently. We hope the links below will shed some light on the reasons for your adolescent's behavior, as well as provide you with the tools you need to keep your kid on a healthy path. We also hope you will join us at upcoming Families Connected events and sign-up for our free monthly e-newsletter. We're all in this together.
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Understanding Your Teen/Pre-Teen
"Your child's transition from elementary school to middle school is a critical time and calls for extra vigilance on your part." -Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Check out this exceptional, interactive explanation of the teen brain (PBS, Frontilne)
Substance Use Prevention Tools
A comprehensive family guide that you can download (Stop Alcohol Abuse)
Why is 21 the legal drinking age in the USA? Learn about myths and facts for the minimum drinking age (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
Find out how to better communicate with your grandchild (Partnership for Drug Free Kids)
Geared to parents and guardians of young people ages 10 to 14, this is a comprehensive guide to help talk to your kids about alcohol (NIAAA)
A downloadable marijuana talk kit to help parents discuss the drug with their children (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
Drug guide: the science behind what each drug does to your brain and body. (NIDA)
Understand the challenge: why do youth use drugs? Their mission is to empower and educate youth, families, and communities with the knowledge and courage to identify and prevent negative youth behavior.
How to talk to your middle schooler about drugs and alcohol
For kids 9 - 12 years old:
"They're on a quest to figure out their place in the world. When it comes to the way they view that world, they tend to give their friends' opinions a great deal of power while, at the same time, they're starting to question their parents' views and messages." - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
For kids 13 - 15 years old:
"For parents, this is a pivotal time in helping kids make positive choices when faced with drugs and alcohol." -Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
South Bay Prevention Information and Resources
Articles Recommended by Families Connected Friends and Parents:
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Parent Recommended Podcasts
LEAD in Lake Forest, IL - LEAD is dedicated to the promotion of healthy family relationships, emotional wellness, and the prevention of alcohol, drug use, and other risky behavior by youth.
Miles To Go - The Miles To Go Drug Prevention Education lecture series features the complex subject of substance abuse.