GUIDING GOOD CHOICES FOR OUR YOUTH – Youth Addiction Series for Parents

According to the 2019 SHARP data report, 30% of 12th graders in our community are using alcohol regularly and the most commonplace that they use is at home with their parent’s permission. If this statistic isn’t shocking enough, consider that youth who begin drinking by age 14 have a 43% chance of being alcohol dependent as adults. When youth wait until they are legally able to drink, their chance of being alcohol dependent is only 7%. Substance use in teens hardwires their brains for lifelong addiction.

“It’s up to our young people to prevent themselves from entering into risky behaviors, it’s up to family and community to give them the tools to know how,” says Lynn Ware Peek, Chair of Communities that Care Summit County. Communities That Care is a coalition for Summit County with a mission to collaboratively foster a culture of health through prevention. The organization was created to tackle the problems of youth substance use and suicide as a response to the community-jarring drug-related deaths of two 13-year-old Treasure Mountain Junior High School students within two days of each other in 2016.

The number one influence on whether a teen chooses to use substances is dependent on clear and consistent “no alcohol” standards and consequences by their parents. Boundaries don’t just matter, they work. The Guiding Good Choices program helps parents of middle school-age youth develop boundary-setting skills. Guiding Good Choices is a five-week series for parents of children 8-12 years old. After five sessions, parents can feel hopeful and excited about their child’s ability to resist peer pressure and make healthy choices in alignment with family values.

Learn more about Guiding Good Choices or about other prevention resources, visit CTCSummitCounty.org.