Film tonight & why NPW really matters this year
This week is National Prevention Week (NPW).
NPW is an annual reminder that families are the key to teaching kids values that
help them avoid risky behaviors like drinking alcohol, vaping, and using other drugs.
The earlier you start talking with them, the better. They're forming their views in elementary school, and by age 12, one in ten kids have tried alcohol.
During COVID, many kids have had less access to alcohol and drugs, but others have been engaging in risky behaviors like drinking on Zoom or using marijuana when alone.
Recent surveys from nearby towns indicate that 40% or more of high school seniors have been drinking during COVID, and up to a quarter are using marijuana and vaping. That's a lot--especially considering there haven't been as many parties going on!
Now, teens are getting back out and socializing. Prom and graduation are coming up. Graduates may be heading off to college soon.
Talk NOW to your children so they are equipped to navigate post-COVID social situations with information and skills that help them avoid risky behaviors.
Do your kids know your values and expectations around drug use and safe behaviors?
NPW is a time to start conversations.
We have events & resources to help you have those discussions. Parents--your children NEED to hear from you!
Drugs & alcohol: Join us with your teen TONIGHT from 7-8 PM for a 35 minute documentary, "If They Had Known," about a teen who accidentally died from mixing alcohol and prescription drugs. Zoom link here
Alcohol: Pick a night to watch our recorded Power of Parents presentation by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (1 hour); Zoom link here or visit https://www.thenorwalkpartnership.org/alcohol
Marijuana: Check out our marijuana slideshow, FAQ, and videos at https://www.thenorwalkpartnership.org/the-new-marijuana
Vaping: Watch the recording of "What You Need to Know About Vaping" (32 min. You Tube video), a recent presentation by Tricia Dahl from Yale or visit https://www.thenorwalkpartnership.org/vaping-nicotine for resources
Suicide: Attend a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training (6/3 at 9am or 6/22 at 5pm) - RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health for elementary schoolers: Download & read aloud Gizmo's Pawesome Guide to Mental Health in English or Spanish!
Have you talked to your kids about:
Why alcohol and other drugs are so bad for the developing teen brain?
What to say if they are offered a drink or drugs?
What precautions they will take when they go to a party?
What to do to avoid being in a car with an impaired driver?
What your family's values and rules are related to substance use?
What your family's consequences will be if they use alcohol or drugs?
Click below for drug prevention tips for children of all ages from www.drugfree.org:
It's important to remember that children model their behavior after their parents. Modelling safe behaviors around drinking and expressing your expectations around drug use can set the foundations for your child. A great way to model safe behaviors is to make a family contract with your child and yourself. This holds both parties responsible and promotes a mutual understanding/expectation around drug use and alcohol.
National Prevention Week is a great time to start the conversation about drug prevention with your children... but it does NOT end this week. This conversation is always ongoing and can set your child up for safe and successful navigation as they become adults.
Also: 18% of Norwalk adults in our survey told us they had been drinking more. If you or someone you know is struggling with increased alcohol use or drug use, visit https://www.thenorwalkpartnership.org/get-help for Norwalk-specific resources. Help is available!
Get quick downloads below of our May bulletin, Norwalk Behavioral Health Resources handout, and Emotional Supports for Teens slideshow: