Why is this important?

As a parent you do just about all you can to protect your kids and keep them safe. It starts at an early age by making sure they look both ways when crossing the street or wear a helmet when riding a bike.

As they get older, the dangers kids face become more serious and have more significant implications. Underage drinking, underage marijuana use and prescription drug misuse and abuse are very real problems that all young people will face at some time in their adolescent life.

Recent data shows that in 2017, more than a quarter (26.6%) of 9th-12th grade students in Douglas County had at least one drink of alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days. For student in this age group 27% admitted to using marijuana one or more time during their life, this is an increased from 25.1% in 2013.

Are you ready to start talking to your kids? This Family Checkup highlights parenting skills that are important in preventing substance abuse in youth:


Empowering kids and young adults so they can effectively deal with peer pressure or social situations where drugs and alcohol are present can help prevent them from a life of substance abuse.

A young person’s brain and body are developing from age 9-25. Substance abuse can have life-long effects on their developing brains and bodies, and their ability to become productive and successful adults. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that substance abuse costs the United States over $600 billion a year (which includes costs related to health, crime and lost productivity).