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Why should parents talk with children about alcohol and other drugs?

This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of Hudson Valley News & Events management or staff.

Adolescents experience complex brain development through their mid-20s, fueling the cognitive, emotional, and social skills needed to not only survive, but thrive. These changes increase young adults’ vulnerability to substance use.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) highlights for the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that, among those 12 or older, 59.8% used tobacco products, vaped nicotine, consumed alcohol, or experimented with an illicit drug.

The key to avoiding these high-risk behaviors, however, is frequent, age-appropriate conversations with your child. An open relationship between parents and adolescents is one of the most influential factors when it comes to preventing substance use; it may not always seem like it, but children really hear their parents’ concerns.

This is not a one-time chat, but an ongoing dialogue about the dangers of substance use. Having conversations with your child, rather than a confrontation, will enable them to make healthy choices moving forward.

As you navigate these conversations, remember that CAPE of Dutchess County is here with resources and programs to help.

Mike Balles – Agency Director

Council on Addiction Prevention and Education (CAPE) of Dutchess County

845-765-8301 –

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