Experts advise parents have 'open conversations' about substance abuse with teens

NOW: Experts advise parents have ’open conversations’ about substance abuse with teens

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- As teens return to school following a difficult year, many might be having feelings of social anxiety, so much so, that it could be tempting to make poor decisions. This past year, specifically, impacting many middle and high school students and their behavior.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse statistics, drug use among teens has increased among 8th graders 61% between 2016 and 2020. By 12th grade, 62% of teens abused alcohol and 50% of teenagers have misused a drug at least once. And a frightening number – 86% of teenagers know someone who smokes, drinks or uses drugs during the school day.

So, what do you need to be aware of for your teen? Conversations.

In the summer of 2015, Becky Savage lost her two sons Nick and Jack on June 14th. The two were attending high school graduation parties with their friends and classmates. The two died from acute alcohol and oxycodone overdose. Becky and her family then created the 525 Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to share the story of Nick and Jack in hopes of saving the lives of other teenagers.

Becky explains the most important thing for parents to do? Talk to them…repeatedly.

“We know there are facts that state parents who have conversations with kids about different drugs, different substances, they are 50% less likely to try those, so have those conversations, I cannot express that enough those conversations could save your child’s life,” says Savage.  

The 525 Foundation offers Drop to Stop stations in local Martins to dispose of surplus prescription pills. You can find further information about the organization and events coming up here.

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