A MESSAGE TO PARENTS FROM DR. TURRISI Research shows that kids who drink are a danger to themselves, their friends, and others. For 20 years, hundreds of high quality clinical studies in the United States and Europe have shown that the sooner kids drink, the more severe the problems they face in the short and long term Science shows that a child’s brain works differently from grown up brains. It is important to realize that no matter how mature kids act they are not simply small versions of adults. Kids’ brains are still in a critical period of development well into their 20’s. Alcohol and marijuana interferes with how brains and bodies grow.

As medical health professionals, we have seen countless times how a single night of underage drinking or using marijuana can destroy lives forever. Unfortunately, most kids who have problems with alcohol or marijuana took their first drink or used marijuana when they were very young, sometimes with their parents. As a parent you have power to equip your child to make smarter, safer choices and to help prevent tragedies. We urge you to read this handbook and talk with your middle school-aged child to help shape the choices they make regarding alcohol and marijuana. These conversations will have an impact on their physical and emotional development and could be life-saving.


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