Drug-Free Checklist for Parents of Teens
By The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
can be a risky time for teens. More teens try marijuana for the
first time in the summer months than any other time of the year.
Each day in June, July and August, approximately 6,100 young people
try marijuana for the first time; that's 38 percent more per day
than during the rest of the year.
is more harmful than some parents think. It is especially risky
for teens because their bodies and brains are still developing.
We know from research that marijuana can be addictive, and can lead
to a number of behavioral problems, mental and physical health issues.
Marijuana can also interfere with learning and school performance.
is a S-U-M-M-E-R drug-free checklist:
you set clear rules and let your teen know that marijuana use is
Two-thirds of kids say that upsetting their parents or losing the
respect of family and friends is one of the main reasons they don't
smoke marijuana or use other drugs. Set limits with clear consequences
for breaking them; praise and reward good behavior.
you talked to your teen recently about the harmful physical, mental,
and social effects of marijuana and other illicit drugs on young
Young people who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to
50 percent less likely to try drugs than their peers who learn nothing
from their parents. Look for teachable moments in everyday life
to keep the conversation ongoing.
your teen's activities and behaviors
you checked to see where your teen is, who he is with, and what
he is doing?
Teens who are not regularly monitored by their parents are four
times more likely to use drugs. Check up on your teen to make sure
they are where they say they are.
sure you stay involved in your teen's life
you talked to your teen's coach, employer, and friends lately?
Stay in touch with the adult supervisors of your child (camp counselors,
coaches, employers) and have them inform you of any changes in your
your teen in summer activities
you helped plan activities to keep your teen busy?
Research shows that teens who are involved in constructive and adult-supervised
activities are less likely to use drugs.
time for family
you planned a family activity with your teen in the coming weeks,
such as going to the movies, taking a walk, or sharing a meal?
Teens who spend time, talk and have a close relationship with their
parents are much less likely to drink, take drugs or have sex.
more information on marijuana and keeping your teen drug-free, visit
site also offers a free brochure called, "Keeping your Kids
Drug-Free: A How-To Guide for Parents and Caregivers." The
brochure can also be ordered by calling 18007882800.
Reprinted with permission.