HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Straight Talk
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Nov 2006
Source: Peace Arch News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Peace Arch News


Teen Drug and Alcohol Use Is a Fact of Life in Every Community. Most 
of It Is Experimental; Rarely Does It Lead to Addiction.

It's Not a Crisis, but It Shouldn't Be Ignored Either, Judging by the 
Latest Mccreary Teen Health Survey.

In 2003, youth aged 13 to 18 filled out a survey and one in five said 
they had tried marijuana. More than half said they had used alcohol. 
These are not surprising statistics, but they should make parents take notice.

Parents, their own lack of confidence notwithstanding, are the best 
preventers. They are their child's first teachers and are the role 
models most copied by young people.

Yet many probably don't know how to talk to their children about the 
issue and most don't realize that simply conversing at sensitive 
times in their childs' lives, and possibly role-playing responses to 
hypothetical scenarios, will do more than any scary lecture in PE class.

Parents don't have to be the experts either, they only need to raise 
the topic and know where to go for extra resources.

Schools are often a great help in providing materials and talking 
points for parents, many of whom can use their own experiences in 
explaining the downsides of experimenting at a young age.

Drugs are now more potent, more accessible and contain more 
impurities than ever. Alcohol poisoning and driving while drunk are 
very real, extremely dangerous, possibilities.

New studies claim even marijuana has connections to psychosis and, at 
the very least, can impair teens at a point when their brains are at 
a critical development stage.

Schools can't do it alone.

Parents need to connect with their children and be prepared to be a 
sounding board, a consistent role model and a partner in a journey of inquiry.

Everybody needs information to make sound decisions and youth, 
parents, educators, health officials and prevention workers are no exception.
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MAP posted-by: Elaine