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Help is right around the corner.

Our Parent Resource Guide offers information, advice and tips for parents in how to deal with children and their drug use. Revised guide can be found here.

Our Resource Guidebook lists resources in the community for help.

Thinking of providing alcohol to your children? Parents who host parties for underage children lose the most. Find out more here, Social Host information. $5,000 fine, criminal charges, jail time - is it worth it?

Tips on how to talk to your child about drinking can be found here, Talk They Hear You! 


Sometimes our children need help in how to say no. Give them the tools to say no, for now and the future.

How to say no and save face:

Someone offers you alcohol. "No, but thanks. I'm allergic to alcohol. Weird, huh?" Carry a cup with soda or water to avoid further questions.

Someone offers you pot. "No way. My mom and dad drug test me. I can't risk losing my phone."

Someone who has been drinking tries to drive. "Hey, let's call my dad, he'll do it without any questions. And, we won't end up in jail or worse."

Code Word

Many parents use a safe Code Word that allows the child to ask the parent to come get him/her without any questions asked, ever. The child, in a situation beyond their control, can contact their parent, say the code word, give the location and the parent will come get them. In this way the child is able to leave the situation and the parent is able to help the child. Remember, no questions later means no questions later.

Over-The-Counter Literacy for Parents. Never use more than one medicine with the same active ingredient. If you have questions about OTC medicine ask your doctor, nurse of pharmacist. OTC medicines need to be treated with the same care & caution as prescription medicines.

$5 Drug Testing Kits for Porter County Parents of Children Under 18 Years of Age

Not my kid.” No one wants to believe that their child may be involved with drugs.  Other false impressions include: “all kids are doing it” “rite of passage,” and “it is something that everyone goes through.”

Current statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse state:

· 53% of teens have tried illegal drugs

· 78% have used alcohol

· 48% have tried marijuana

· 12% have used inhalants

Researchers have learned that the earlier a child begins abusing a substance the more likely he/she is to develop an addiction. The human brain does not fully develop until an individual reaches the mid to late 20’s. As a result there is greater risk for increased damage to the brain from early drug and alcohol use. Youths take greater risks and do not always consider the consequences of their actions.

The keys to preventing substance abuse in youth are prevention, early identification of abuse, evaluation, and appropriate treatment.

Parents - the Anti-Drug

Parents should take a leading role in prevention. This role starts in early childhood, and continues through high school and early adulthood. Two way communication between the parent and the child is needed. Parents can educate themselves as to what the drug and alcohol situation is in their community, attend, and encourage their child to attend, programs about substance abuse, and meet with other parent groups and children’s friends’ parents to discuss these issues.  Drug and alcohol use is not a “rite of passage” or acceptable behavior for children.

Protecting Your Children

 Parents are legally and financially responsible if their teen wrecks the car, gets arrested, needs treatment or worse.

Drug testing can be a useful parental tool to determine if a child is abusing drugs. Testing is the first step. Combined with communication and effective discipline, drug testing can be a helpful tool in addressing underlying issues.

Parents should be straightforward and tell their child that they love them too much to let them be involved with drugs and that they will use any available tool to keep them away from drugs.

When testing, the parent must hold firm and not back down. When teens and preteens use drugs they will almost always deny it to their parents.

Plan in advance what you will do if your child tests positive. Keep composure and deal sensibly. Don’t forget there are underlying reasons for drug use and those reasons need to be discovered and managed.

The Porter County Substance Abuse Council supports home drug testing as one way to deter substance abuse in children.

Substance use and abuse is a preventable problem. Research shows that parents have a large influence on their child’s behavior. Children who learn about drug and alcohol abuse from their parents are 50% less likely to start using these substances. Children say that they refrain from substance abuse because they do not want to upset their parents. They actually care what you think!

Stay involved in your child’s life, from infancy through high school, and help deter substance abuse. Discuss day-to-day activities and listen to what your child has to say. Keep the lines of communication open. It takes lots of fun talks to balance the tough talks. That requires a lot of listening on the part of the parent so that you catch them when they are good, when they are dreaming, or feeling silly, excited, happy, or in a reflective mood

A parent has a right and a duty to monitor a child's activities. Know the “who, what, where, when, how and why” before they go out. The parental role is not to be your child’s pal, they have friends, but to be the person who enforces boundaries, encourages a healthy lifestyle, is consistent with family rules, and leads by example.

The Porter County Substance Abuse Council has drug testing kits available for Porter County parents of minor children. Kits are $5 and test opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines and marijuana. Call 462-0946 to setup an appointment for the kits.


Rite of Passage to Nowhere

  • Marijuana is now 20-30% THC.  In 1990 and earlier it was 2-3% TCH.
  • Alco-pops, alcoholic drinks with high alcohol content and highly sweetened, are marketed directly at teens.
  • Adolescents are trying opioids and benzodiazepine tranquilizers (Xanax) and other  prescription medication at unprecedented levels.
  • 1 in 4 Hoosier youths abuse prescription drugs.
  • Every 25 minutes someone dies from a prescription drug overdose in this country.