Talk Early, Talk Often
Talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.
What is the best way to keep your kids from drinking and using drugs?
It could be as simple as talking early and talking often. The “Talk Early, Talk Often” campaign is organized by the SUP Coalition to educate and empower parents and caregivers to have ongoing conversations with the young people in their lives around drugs and alcohol.
Research has shown that although it may seem like kids aren’t listening — they really are. Parents are role models for kids and your views on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can strongly influence how they think about them. Make talking about drugs a part of your general health and safety conversations — starting as early as elementary age and continuing on from there.
As part of the campaign, 5 videos were filmed with help from local adult and youth residents to bring awareness to a variety of topics.
Three videos display common parent-child scenarios designed to provide examples of how to respond during certain situations and how using opportune times to talk allows you to initiate more ongoing conversations.
Two videos enlisted help from local law enforcement to discuss the importance of Social Host Ordinances and how they benefit our community as well as local healthcare professionals to dispel some of the myths surrounding youth marijuana use.
Parents are the most powerful influence in a child’s life. Talk early and often about the risks, set clear rules against drug use, and enforce reasonable consequences for breaking the rules.
Additional Resources to Help Start or Continue the Conversations:
Car Talk: Use natural opportunities such as driving (or riding) somewhere or during dinner to start open, honest conversations about drinking and other drug use.
Seek discussion, don't lecture! Share your own experiences and opinions and how they have changed over the years. As you are willing to open-up and share experiences, so will your child.
Confrontation vs. Conversation: Finding out your teen used drugs definitely stirs up a parent's emotions. It can be a very confusing time. But the best way to help your teen - and to make sure they hear you - is to remain as calm as possible throughout the conversation. Also, it's as important, if not more, that you listen to them.
Do not try to start the conversation when you can tell your child is drunk or high. Hold off until they are sober. You want to be able to have a conversation, rather than a confrontation.
Checking-In: Text messaging is a great way for parents to keep in touch and monitor what their children are doing without being obtrusive. Teens are more likely to respond to texts that facilitate short, quick responses rather than answering a phone call.
Social Host Ordinances (SHO): Oftentimes we get asked - What is a Social Host Ordinance? What isn't it? Why is it important?
Listen in as Sheriff Brott of Sherburne County and the Chiefs of Police, Chief Nierenhausen of Elk River Police Department, Chief Baloun of Becker Police Department, and Chief Scharf of Big Lake Police Department answer these important questions.
Marijuana Misperceptions: Legal responses to marijuana use across the nation have left many feeling confused about this drug.
Paul Fischer and Francine Kosse, two Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors with Fairview Behavioral Services, dispel some of the myths surrounding marijuana use and share how it can negatively impact those that use it, especially youth.