Kids Starting at New Schools Need Support to Help Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

DENVER, Aug. 22, 2017 — Students starting at new schools this fall may need support to help them manage peer pressure, especially around the use of drugs and alcohol, according to Rachel Uslan, Program Coordinator from Aurora Mental Health Center.

“Negative peer pressure is always a big concern for young people, but may be more so when your child is starting a new school or even a new school year,” said Uslan. “The desire to ‘fit in’ can cause students to make unhealthy decisions about who they befriend and in what activities they choose to engage. It’s especially important for parents to help their kids navigate this stressful time by discussing strategies to help them stay drug and alcohol free.”

The Speak Now Colorado website, available in English and Spanish, gives parents tools and resources to have these important conversations with their children. Conversation starters and related tips are age-adjusted, so parents can initiate a positive and successful dialogue with their child about substance use and abuse.

Research shows parents can have an enormous influence on their children’s drinking and drug use, especially during the preteen and early teen years. Youth are three-times less likely to binge drink if a parent feels it’s wrong, according to the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey.

The Speak Now Colorado campaign is a project of the Office of Behavioral Health within the Colorado Department of Human Services. The Speak Now Colorado website has conversation starters for parents to consider when discussing parties, prescription drugs, or when your child asks about your own use of drugs or alcohol. In addition to providing tips on how to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol, the site is also useful in helping parents:

  • Identify high risk behaviors.
  • Understand the laws pertaining to the use of alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and other drugs.
  • Learn how alcohol and drugs can affect their child’s developing brain.

“The key is to talk about these issues not once, but in an ongoing way,” Uslan said. “This is crucial because your kids will face decisions regarding drugs and alcohol for years to come; they need a strong foundation from which to make healthy choices, and to know that they can talk to a supportive adult if they have any questions.”

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Erich Kirshner, Evolution Communications Agency


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SOURCE Speak Now Colorado

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