(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Empower Tusc is encouraging the community to join awareness efforts throughout the month of October as it relates to National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 9 out of 10 people who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18 years old. People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times more likely to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older.
“Our youth are easily influenced, and we have to take a stand as a community to be loud and ensure the influences they are exposed to are positive and set them up to live happy, healthy lives,” explained Jodi Salvo, Empower Tusc Coordinator.
Every year that substance use is delayed during the period of adolescent brain development, the risk of addiction and substance abuse decreases.
Parents, guardians, and role models have a strong influence in shaping kids’ attitudes about substance abuse. There are several ways you can be a positive one and help your child or teen avoid addiction.
- Talk early and often.
- Support health activities
- Set clear expectations of no use
- Establish clear consequences
- Remember that it is not your job to “be cool”
- Do not provide alcohol or drugs to your teens
- Pay attention
- Make time for your child
- Prioritize sleep
- Intervene early
For more information on local prevention efforts including parental toolkits, visit empowertusc.com.