Most young people will be exposed to drugs and alcohol before they reach 18 years of age. As a parent and caregiver you have a key role to play in helping empower your child to make healthy life choices and ultimately prevent them from abusing drugs and alcohol. Evidence suggests that drugs and alcohol can harm children and young people in several ways:

● They contribute to poor judgment and making bad decisions

● They increase the chances of getting into fights, accidents and other dangerous situations

●They damage the growing body and developing brain

● They may lead to addiction during adolescence, although evidence suggests this does not happen at a high rate

Evidence suggests that telling children to “just say no” to drugs and alcohol is simply not effective. There are many things parents can do to help empower children to avoid drug abuse. Even if you do not think your child has experimented with drugs or alcohol, this guide will equip you with valuable information to make you aware of the challenges young people face, and also refer you to additional resources that can support you in dealing with these challenges.

This guide brings together some of the best evidence-based advice and guidance from a range of leading organisations worldwide that work to prevent substance abuse, but it only highlights some examples. You can find plenty more resources on Mentor International’s Resource Finder. Click below to download!

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