A MESSAGE TO PARENTS FROM DR. TURRISI AND MADD Being a parent is intensely rewarding, but also deeply challenging. Despite a common misconception that as children enter high school their friends become all- important and parental influence weakens, research shows that parents are still the most important source of information for older adolescents. Further, our research shows that parents: 1. ARE motivated to talk with their children and teens 2. ARE willing to learn new ways to reach out to their teens 3. DO make a difference when it comes to reducing risky adolescent behavior! Too many teens die or suffer life-altering consequences from drinking underage. In addition, young people under 21 are over-represented in both alcohol-impaired driving and passenger fatalities. Last, studies show that 1 in 3 teens combine alcohol use with other drugs (e.g., marijuana, nicotine and other stimulants) and experience 2 to 3 times more consequences on those occasions! All of these harms and tragedies are 100% preventable.
parenting and communication style. You can even change your child’s future. All of the best information from decades of studies done in the United States and Europe points to the same thing, with no exceptions – children and teens are safer when there are family rules present:
No alcohol use before age 21 No drug use No alcohol or drug impaired driving Never ride with someone who has been drinking or using other drugs
HOW TO USE THIS HANDBOOK We created this handbook based on the best information available to help parents talk to teens about alcohol and marijuana, keep them from driving impaired, and keep them from getting in a car with an impaired driver. This handbook will improve how you and your teen relate to each other and can help you protect your teen. Since each family is different, you will likely relate to some sections of this handbook better than others. That’s ok. Not all families are the same and we respect those differences. After reviewing the entire handbook, use the parts that are helpful to you and your family. We urge you not to underestimate how dangerous alcohol and marijuana, impaired driving, and riding with impaired drivers are for teens. By following the handbook’s suggestions, you can help equip your teen to make smarter, safer choices.
This is where you come in as a parent to make things change.
Fortunately, as a parent—you are a “changer”—you DO have the POWER to change the way your child thinks about alcohol and other drugs. You can change your
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