The summer months are when many tweens try alcohol or other drugs for the first time. Studies show that teens going to college often begin binge drinking the summer after they graduate high school. If your teen or tween has the summer off, it’s important to encourage them to stay busy with healthy summer activities.

Encourage your teens and tweens to be active and involved, whether it’s through volunteer work, a fun program at their local library, or a summer sports league. Feeling like they matter in the community helps prevent youth – especially boys – from making dangerous decisions.

This article from The Daily Beast talks about Chiara de Blasio and Zac Efron, two young people who’ve recently gone public with their struggles with addiction. They’re not alone.

Studies show that most addicts, nationwide, first use their drug of choice in middle school. The seeds of addiction can be set very early. That’s why it’s important to talk early and often about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. We know that talking with kids helps them make good choices.

Here are some good ways to start.

http://www.easyread.drugabuse.gov/drug-free-children-teens.php

Nov 052013

The top cause of preventable death in the United States is tobacco use. Whether it’s cancer, heart disease or lung disorders, tobacco takes its toll in health — and a serious hit in your pocket.

This calculator will show you how much you can save by quitting.

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit TryToStopNH for the state’s free, confidential quitline. Using a quitline can more than double your chances of quitting for good, and you may be eligible for free or discounted tobacco cessation products if they’re not already covered by insurance.

Some people have advocated e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking but there’s no proof that they are more effective than any other quit method — and they’re definitely more expensive than most.

Secondhand smoke is another significant cause of lung disease. Take smoking outside if you haven’t quit, and don’t smoke in your car.

Remember to talk with your kids about the dangers of smoking, secondhand smoke, and chewing tobacco. In Sullivan County, when parents send a strong message, teens are 75% less likely to start smoking. Talk early – much use starts in middle school!

You can help end sexual assault

The Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco

Dr. Bill Kohn clarifies the facts about smokeless tobacco.

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