The resources on this page aim to equip parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to help their children stave off substance use during the teens years. Evidence shows that protective factors like connecting authentically with your children, family time, and talking early and often can help youth make positive choices when faced with drugs and alcohol. The Families Connected and National resources curated on this page provide insight and support to help us guide our children on a healthy path to maturity.
Families Connected Resources
Featured Families Connected drug and alcohol prevention parent event videos
In this five-minute clip from the Families Connected Speaker Series event, Purpose vs. Performance, former Dodger Erik Karros asks his daughter, Mikah Maly-Karros, why she drank in high school? Important insight for parents on the importance of connection. To view the full presentation, visit our Mindful Parenting page.
View a five-minute summary compilation of six different SBFC prevention events featuring Mathew Torrington, M.D., Moe Gelbart, Ph.D., Greg Allen, Ph.D, and Joan Stein Jenkins, MBPD Prosecutor and Head of the Juvenile Diversion Program.
View the full presentation of the Families Connected Speaker Series event, Recognizing and Responding to Teen Stressors and Pressures, which features four experts.
Authentic stories from parents whose teens have struggled with substance use.
OMG, We Just Sent Our Baby Boy To The Wilderness!!!, by a South Bay Dad
The Strand Family Shares Their Story, part 1 of 3, by Cyndi Strand
What’s trending? Vaping
Partner school administrators and parents have expressed that the steep rise in youth vaping has made this topic a priority in their prevention efforts. Click on the tip sheet image for tips to Talk About It, a campaign produced by our education partner, Beach Cities Health. Visit the Families Connected Vaping Information for Parents for in-depth videos and national resources to help us understand this trend and why it is critical to help our children stave off use. Connect your teen with our Vaping Facts for Teens page to help the connect with the real facts about vaping. Encourage them to share their top five reasons to say, “I’ll pass” when it comes to vaping in our Pass On It campaign.
Opioid awareness and prevention
For videos and resources related to the Opioid Epidemic visit the Families Connected Opioid Awareness Project page.:
Clicking on the logos, images, and links below will take you out of the Families Connected website and to the online resource indicated. Families Connected Is not affiliated with these organizations, nor have these organizations paid to have their resources shared here. Families Connected will remain open in your browser.
The Teen Brain and Why Illicit Substance Use Prevention is Critical
Unlike our parents before us, we now have a much greater understanding of the teen brain, including the scientific reasons why adolescents push boundaries and struggle with impulse control, as well as the adverse impact today's high potency drugs and binge drinking behaviors have on the developing brain. Today's research tells us this: if we want our youth to reach their full potential and avoid alcohol and drug-related harm, the longer we can stave off alcohol and drug use the better. Note: this information does not apply to medically prescribed prescriptions for mental health issues.
Listen to the latest research on how marijuana and alcohol cause permanent damage to the developing teen brain, lowering test scores (NPR)
Check out this exceptional, interactive explanation of the teen brain (PBS, Frontline)
Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction (NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse -- NIDA)
Talk early and often - here’s how
Current research tells us that families and communities hold the key to substance abuse prevention. We know that families matter, and that 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. Additionally, if and when teens in these families do engage in risky behaviors, they are more likely to go to their parents for help. Partnerships for Drug-Free Kids breaks out talking tips for kids aged 2-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-18, 19-25. It’s never too early to talk.
Prevention Tools and Resources
This is an informative, downloadable PDF with click throughs to helpful advice for parents (SAMSHA)
A comprehensive family guide that you can download (Stop Alcohol Abuse)
Drug facts for parents (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
A downloadable marijuana talk kit to help parents discuss the drug with their children (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
A comprehensive searchable drug guide also available as a free app. (Partnership for Drug Free-Kids)
Find out how to better communicate with your teenage grandchild (Partnership for Drug Free Kids)
Reducing Drinking and Driving
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility leads the fight against drunk driving & underage drinking. Funded by America's leading distillers.
Why is 21 the legal drinking age in the USA? Learn about myths and facts for the minimum drinking age (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
National Alcohol and Drug Hotlines
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a toll-free, confidential 24/7 hotline (English & Spanish) for individuals and family members facing substance abuse and mental health issues. Call 800-662-4357
DrugFree.org provides a toll-free hotline/support service for parents/other primary caregivers of children who want to talk about their child’s drug use and drinking. Call 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)