Tips for Parents

Unsupervised teens are more likely to use alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. As the most influential person in your teens' lives, you can help safeguard them from drug use and other risky behaviors.

Here's how:

1. Ask questions and keep tabs: Set regular check-in times when your teens are away from home. Explain your expectations regarding how soon they should respond to your texts and/or phone calls.

2. Make it easy for your child to leave when drugs or alcohol are present: Discuss in advance how your teens can contact you or another designated adult who will pick them up the moment they feel uncomfortable. Later be prepared to talk about what happened.

3. Make time for family: Establish a regular weekly routine for doing something fun with your kids like playing tennis, swimming, going out for ice cream or pizza. Quality time together will help keep the lines of communication open.

For more information, download our updated Community Resource Guide.

Community Resource Guide(English)

Community Resource Guide(Spanish)

Parents Who Host Lose the Most - A Guide to Social Host Liability

What parents should know about social host liability:
* As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your teen's friends under the age of 21, under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent's permission.

* You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol.

If you break the law:

  • You can face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
  • Others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they, in turn, hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property.
  • Officers can take any alcohol, money or property used in committing the offense.

Things you can do as a parent:

  • Refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under 21.
  • Be at home when your teen has a party.
  • Make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home or property by your teen's friends.
  • Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at other events your child will be attending.
  • Create alcohol-free opportunities and activities in your home so teens feel welcome.
  • Report underage drinking to local law enforcement.

For examples of substance abuse scenarios, including helpful tips on how to talk with your child about the risks, with age-appropriate suggestions on how to start a conversations and how to answer the question, "Did you do drugs?" www.timetotalk.org

For videos of experts in the field providing tips on how, when, and what to ask if you think your child may be using drugs

For information about cough medication abuse