Handling Risky Business: Getting Informed and Taking Action on Substance Use
While it may seem like most adolescents are experimenting with drugs or alcohol, the truth is, most kids are actually not using. That is a really good thing, because adolescence is a time of great development – and the decisions made during this period can have enormous implications on one’s life. But because substance use during adolescence is always risky, it can have devastating consequences, even for those kids that never do become addicted. And, too many kids who do start using drugs and alcohol as teens actually will become addicted. Studies show that one out of every 10 kids who engage in, or show signs of teenage drug use, do.
To help parents and families understand the realities and risks of adolescent substance use, the Treatment Research Institute developed the Family Resource Center website; a place parents and other caring loved ones can find trusted addiction resources to help navigate this issue, from prevention to recovery.
The website serves as a central hub for the most widely available, recognized and researched resources to help parents and caring loved ones prevent drug or alcohol use, intervene early, find treatment and support adolescents and young adults in addiction recovery. The directory of resources included are backed by various degrees of scientific support and information available from the most notable, national sources, including:
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse
- The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
- The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
- Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Also featured on the Family Resource Center is a video in the “About” section that shares the stories of families that have faced addiction with their own child or sibling. Five families share their stories, each with a different perspective. While talk about their separate experiences discovering their loved one’s addiction and the ultimate outcome; they all share the same message to other families: Trust Your Gut. Get Informed. Take Action.
These families remind us that regardless of socioeconomic background, community setting or family structure, any substance use is risky and addiction can happen to any child. Parents and caring loved ones CAN play a role in addressing adolescent substance use, and they can find information they can trust in the Family Resource Center.