Parents urged to help kids create plan to deal with negative peer pressure
A new website — Speak Now! — offers effective strategies for parents and kids develop a plan to avoid stressful situations and manage peer pressure around the use of drugs and alcohol.
According to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, youth who can ask a parent, guardian or other adults for help are one and a half times less likely to binge drink. Creating a plan is a helpful way to start discussing healthy choices with your kids, especially if a young person is increasingly curious about alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, or other drugs.
The Speak Now! Colorado website, available in English and Spanish, gives parents age-appropriate tools and resources so parents can initiate a positive and successful dialogue with their child about substance use and abuse. The Speak Now! Colorado statewide social marketing campaign is a project of the Office of Behavioral Health within the Colorado Department of Human Services.
“The key is helping kids come up with effective strategies in advance before they find themselves in a difficult situation,” says Leah Emerick, youth substance abuse prevention coordinator at Denver Public Health. “Starting these conversations can sometimes feel awkward, but having an ongoing discussion with your child is really important. Support from parents and caregivers is crucial for kids, who are often faced with negative peer pressure.”