DCF Provides Tips to Parents to Talk with Their Teens about Not Using Drugs, Alcohol During Spring Break

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2013 
Contact: Nicole Stookey, Northwest Region Communications Director, (850) 509-2675

DCF Provides Tips to Parents to Talk with Their Teens about Not Using Drugs, Alcohol During Spring Break

TALLAHASSEE—To help youth across Florida stay safe and healthy, the Department of Children and Families wants to remind parents to talk to their children about drugs and give tips for parents and children. Spring Break can be a time when teens often feel pressured to drink alcohol, use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs.

“Spring Break can be a happy, fun time for youth and adults, but please take some time to talk to your children about this important issue,” said Rob Siedlecki, Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health. “Help them decide to make the right choices to stay safe.”

Here are some tips to help you have a conversation about drugs and alcohol with your child:

  • Parents must be clear, firm and consistent when discouraging your teen from using drugs and alcohol. Even though it's difficult, finding a time to sit down and talk with your child is extremely important. Their life and the lives of others could depend on it.
  • Take opportunities on a regular basis to reinforce that alcohol and drug use are not acceptable. If someone on a TV show or in a movie is using drugs, take the time to talk about the negative consequences of their actions and ask your child what they would do in a similar situation.
  • If your child is going to be with another family during Spring Break, be sure to find out who will be there and that your child will be supervised. Speak with the parents to decide if they will provide a level of oversight that you are comfortable with.
  • Talk to your child specifically about drug and alcohol use during Spring Break. Tell them they will not be alone in refusing drugs. A recent statewide study of middle and high school kids showed that the majority of youth in Florida think doing drugs, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol is "uncool."
  • Be active in planning parties at your house so that you can control the invite list and make sure there is plenty of fun activities, food and non-alcoholic drinks available. Check in where the guests are hanging out to make sure no one is drinking or doing drugs.

For more information about preventing drug and alcohol abuse, please visit www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/substance-abuse/prevention