Parents are urged to talk to their kids about substance abuse, before proms and graduations draw near.
And not just their teenagers. Kids get exposed to drugs, alcohol and all kinds of things at a lot younger age than parents might think. “And so in middle school when you think of sixth graders, who are usually about 11 years old, through eighth graders, who are about 13 years of age, that they can definitely be exposed to things things.”
Patricia Kokotailo (koh-koh-TEYE’-loh), Director of Adolescent Medicine at UW Health, says kids are made aware of certain things merely from being around their parents, older siblings, and visiting relatives. But, she says, curious kids are getting much more exposure via the media and social networking sites. And, it’s all instantly available.
Kokotailo encourages parents to talk with kids, and do it early. “Using those sort of teachable moments when they see something on the TV or they hear about a car crash or something happens at school.”
Teens whose parents talk with them regularly about drugs and alcohol are 42% less likely to use substances than those whose parents don’t, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Kokotailo says “A Parent’s Guide to Teen Parties” offer guidelines for parents, and points to the negative health effects of drinking, including the longterm negative effects on a developing brain.
Jackie Johnson report 1:32
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