The latest national Monitoring the Future Study showed that marijuana use among teens declined slightly in 2014, after five years of increasing use. However, the belief that regular marijuana use is harmful to the user, continues to fall among youth, so changes in perception of risk does not explain the change in use this year, as had been assumed over most of the life of the survey. Daily use also declined in 2014, though it remains at relatively high levels.
Parents are the primary influence on adolescent behavior, even if it may not always seem that way. Here are some resources that can help parents discuss the use of drugs with their children.
What Parents Should Say to Their Children about Drugs:
- A Parent's Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use -- Booklet by Seattle Children's Hospital and the UW Social Development Research Group offers information, resources, and practical advice for parents. En Español
- Marijuana Legalization: What Parents Can Say to Their Children -- Leslie R. Walker, MD, Chief of Adolescent Medicine, and Inga Manskop, Prevention WINS Coordinator, both of Seattle Children's (Dec. 2012)
- What Parents Should Say to Teens about I-502 and Marijuana Legalization -- Roger Roffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, UW School of Social Work (Seattle Times, Nov. 11, 2012)
- Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse (NIDA) -- Offers five techniques for talking to kids about drugs, including videos offering examples of positive and negative examples of each technique.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)'s Publications for Parents.
Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know (NIDA)
Drugs: Shatter the Myths (NIDA)
Preventing Drug Abuse among Children & Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders (NIDA)
The Partnership at Drugfree.org
A drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery resource, developed to help parents and caregivers effectively address alcohol and drug abuse with their teens and young adults. Includes a Parents Toll-Free Helpline: 1-855-DRUGFREE.
Facts for Families (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)
Information and links to additional resources about parents and substance abuse prevention, specific drugs, adolescent development, school services, mental health disorders, and more.
Washington State Substance Use Data and Statistics (ADAI)
A collection of key reports on drug and alcohol use and problems and Washington state and its 39 counties. Includes the most recent data from the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey on alcohol, drug, and tobacco use in high school students (grades 6, 8, 10, and 12).
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Are you concerned your teen is using drugs or alcohol?
- Washington Recovery Helpline: Offers 24-hour confidential referral and help for substance abuse, problem gambling, and mental health for adults and teens in Washington state. The Helpline can assist family members in finding treatment centers for adults or teens, as well as provide information on community events and lectures that may be useful to parents. 1-866-789-1511