As millions of Florida students head back to school this week, Attorney General Ashley Moody is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of drug use. As part of the #BackToSchoolOAG campaign, Attorney General Moody is sharing tips and resources to help get the conversation started. Drug use among minors continues to be a concern exacerbated by the opioid crisis. The influx of lethal fentanyl increases the odds that using opioids will lead to an overdose or even death.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As we begin another school year, I want students to be fully aware of the devastating risks associated with drug use. One of the best ways to prevent students from giving in to peer pressure to try drugs is for parents and guardians to have meaningful conversations with their children about the risks involved. Not only are drugs illegal, they are addictive and can be deadly. Even some prescription drugs can be addictive. Please talk to your children about the dangers of drug use, the opioid crisis and how to say no.”
Below are some tips for parents and guardians when talking to children about illegal drugs:
- Talk with openness and active listening: Parents should keep an open mind, remaining curious and calm to conduct a productive conversation with the child. Asking open-ended questions and listening without interruption allows for further engagement;
- Offer empathy and support: Teenage years are particularly rough for students who may already be dealing with bullying and peer pressure. Acknowledge that everyone struggles, but drugs are never the solution or a healthy way to cope with problems;
- Discuss the dangers of drugs: Drugs do both short- and long-term damage to young people’s mental and physical health, especially their brain’s development, which typically continues until a person reaches their early 20s; and
- Provide powerful teaching moments: Point out instances of communities impacted by drugs. Share stories of individuals in recovery or that passed away due to drug use.
Parents and guardians can visit DrugFree.org for more tips and information about effectively communicating with children about the dangers of substance abuse, drug addiction prevention information and recovery options.
To follow Attorney General Moody’s #BackToSchoolOAG Campaign, click here.