Ketterling: A teaching moment for parents about the dangers of drugs, alcohol | MyWindsorNow.com

Ketterling: A teaching moment for parents about the dangers of drugs, alcohol

Is marijuana a harmless drug like so many teens and adults think? What is binge drinking and can it kill you?

There are a lot of myths and misperceptions about alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs these day, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse is trying to set the record straight.

This is the sixth year that it has hosted National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, which is promoted and supported by schools and prevention groups nationwide including Weld County Prevention Partners. It features an online National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge this week, a free quiz with 10 questions and two Brainiac questions that can be completed within 10 minutes. It can also be downloaded in a pdf version.

This quiz is a great way for parents to have a conversation with their tweens and teens about drug and alcohol use. You could have every member of your family take the quiz, and compare scores. Afterward, you can talk about the information you learned or already knew. You could even let the quiz winner pick a special activity of meal as a prize!

As a parent, we don't want to lecture our children, especially when they are of the age that they want to tune out and disengage from their family more. However, studies do show that when parents talk to their children about drugs and alcohol, their children are 42% less likely to use them. Having these conversations is very helpful and important, and they can be made easier if the conversations spring from a news article, event or activity like National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.

I invite you to visit http://www.wcpreventionpartners.org this week. The National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge can be found on our home page. The website is also filled with great information, both for parents and teens. It's a great way to learn and share the facts with your family, and dispel the myths.

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Nomie Ketterling is the coordinator of Weld County Prevention Partners, a coalition of concerned parents, educators, lawmakers, community leaders and citizens who want to protect our youth from the dangers of alcohol, marijuana and drug use. Weld County Prevention Partners is a program supported by North Range Behavioral Health.

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