Young people need consistent boundaries and limits, adults need to be able to deliver accurate information about alcohol and drug use, and it’s never too early (or too late) to talk with kids about substance use.
Positive adult influence (paying attention to young people and letting them know you’re proud of them) has a big impact on how they understand and experience alcohol and/or drugs. Modeling healthy behavior is key in this influence!
Adults need to believe that alcohol and drug use of any kind can cause unhealthy outcomes for young people – and they need to understand that every young person is at risk of making unhealthy decisions (especially without the supporting influence of the adults in their life).
According to PAYS data, young people report less use and less favorable attitudes towards their peers using alcohol and other drugs when they believe the adults in their life (parents, teachers, neighbors) PAY ATTENTION to them and express that they are PROUD of them.
While the solution to the opioid epidemic and substance abuse in general can seem out of reach, young people have given a clear answer to this challenge → Adults HAVE AN IMPACT on how young people understand and experience substances like alcohol or other drugs.