Parents: Talk to your kids about the risks of illicit substances

Peer pressure weighs heavily on adolescents who may have the impression that “everybody does it.” Everybody DOESN’T, but unless they become informed, enlightened they aren’t going to know this.

“Exposure to drugs and alcohol at any time, but especially during the developmental stage, may cause cognitive deficits that can impact a child’s ability to succeed in school and the workforce,” the Ohio Governor’s office reports.

You may be a parent, caregiver or guardian of children. You take a little time here and there to educate yourself about risks to the health and well being of your young charges. You don’t want to be clingy and you surely don’t want to be helicopter parents, teaching your kids to be afraid to take a step on their own. You want to do the right things so your children will be safe, grow strong and knowledgeable. You want them to achieve their greatest potential. So you may be asking, “How do I talk to them about those ever-present dangers without preaching, without ending up in a shouting match that doesn’t accomplish anything but hard feelings?”

Drug abuse is excessively prevalent all over the U.S. In Ohio in 2011, drug overdoses were the leading cause of accidental deaths: one Ohioan died every five hours from drug overdoses. The Kasich administration has been working with state agencies from the beginning of Kasich’s term. Last month Gov. Kasich and the First Lady kicked off the new year with a new drug abuse prevention initiative, Start Talking, focusing on how to reduce the likelihood of youth drug abuse before it starts.

“We’re making real progress in fighting prescription drug abuse in Ohio because we made up our minds to fight the problem head on,” said Gov. Kasich. “But we still have more work to do because illicit drug abuse remains a huge problem in our stateour future-our children-are at stake.”

Prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest abuse problems. The drugs are so easily accessible, right there in the medicine chest at home.

Parents can find resources at Parents360 Rx and Know! Online. The programs at these websites help you to understand the risks to your children and learn simple, effective strategies. There also are components for schools to reinforce what parents are doing at home.

Parents360 Rx was developed by the Partnership at Mom and Dad can learn more about risks to their children and how to talk to their children about substance abuse.

Know! Parent Tips are available through e-mail. Subscribe to the tips that are delivered twice a month to your email inbox. (

5 Minutes for Life involves Ohio State troopers and Ohio National Guard members as well as other law enforcement officers who talk for five minutes with high school athletes before or after practice about responsible decision-making, leadership and encouraging their peers to live drug free.

Teachers have a great deal of influence over their students. The Drug Free Action Alliance created TEACHable Moments specifically for educators. The free email is sent twice a month and provides information and ideas to help with prevention discussions in the classroom.

In Columbiana County, Family Recovery Center administrates ADAPT (Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Team) Coalition. A network of county agencies work together focusing on creating an environment that is healthy and free of harmful substance use and abuse in our county. The coalition is developing leadership teams in each community throughout the county to provide information and encourage healthy, fun, drug-free activities conducive to well; being. To learn more, or to get involved, contact the Education Department, 966 N. Market St., Lower Level; phone, 330-424-0531 or visit the website,

Your children mean the world to you. Start Talking!

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related mental health issues. For more information about FRC programs, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail,