HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR TEEN A common question we hear from parents is, “What can I do to help reduce the risks of my child getting hurt from drinking alcohol or combining alcohol and marijuana?” Below is a case study of a mother that many parents can relate to. A case study Teri has a son who is a senior high school student considering attending an out-of-state university. Her son is interested in video games and sports and volunteers in his community. Teri has talked to her son about drinking (and marijuana) since he was in middle school and continues to “check in” fairly regularly. Teri and her husband are fairly typical parents. They prefer spending time with close friends and family on weekends while having dinner and drinks, but nothing ever out of hand and no marijuana use. In his senior year they allow their son to have a small glass of wine or a beer on very special occasions. Otherwise, drinking is not allowed or encouraged. Teri has heard about the heavy drinking that goes on at parties and is concerned like many parents, but feels that by keeping lines of communication open and talking to her son about the risks, she is doing all that she can. To the best of her knowledge, he avoids parties on weekends, but she knows there have been at least one or two occasions where he was out with friends where there was alcohol and marijuana.

The research shows there are many things that Teri does that will reduce the odds of Jeremy experiencing consequences associated with combined alcohol and marijuana use. 1. Research has shown that the more parents talk with their children about drinking and marijuana, the less likely they are to use them in combination and experience consequences. 2. Studies show parental modeling is associated with children’s drinking and marijuana use. Teri and her husband’s low use of alcohol and no marijuana use are protective and lower their son’s risk. 3. Studies show that it is never too late for parents to talk with their children about drinking and marijuana. The higher the quality the parent communication, the less likely their college-age children are to drink and use marijuana in combination and experience consequences. Teri’s checking in and continued conversations are protective and lower his risk.

Turn to the next page for more things that Teri can do.


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