If you’re like most parents, you do everything you can to make sure your pre-teen or teen has a happy, healthy future. Unfortunately, sometimes young people are tempted to try alcohol before they turn 21, or experiment with drugs. Not only can this behavior harm a growing body and brain, it can lead to failure in school, and in life.

This website has been created to help educate parents and kids about the dangers of underage drinking and the use of drugs, from marijuana and methamphetamines, to prescription and over-the-counter drugs. You’ll also find information about resources in Weld County that can help you and your family in many ways.

Nine Ways To Help Your Teen Succeed in High School

Parents play an important role in helping teens succeed in school. Even though teens want to be more independent, it’s vital that parents stay involved. As a new school year begins, it’s a great time to provide guidance and support for your teen. Here are nine ways you can help them succeed in school this year!

1) Take the time to go to Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher conferences.
2) Visit the school and its website for information about activities, testing dates, sports and club schedules and student resources.
3) Pay attention to your teen’s homework assignments and study habits.
4) Make sure they have a nutritious breakfast before they go to school.
5) Make sure they get enough sleep every night. Teens need 8-10 hours every night.
6) Help your teen get organized with daily to-do lists, class binders or notebooks and an orderly workspace for studying.
7) Know the disciplinary and bulling policies at their school and review them together.
8) Take school attendance seriously and make sure your student does, too.
9) Get involved at school by offering to volunteer, giving a talk for career day, attending school events or joining the parent-teacher group.

RAR of WC Essay Contest Winner Announced

For the second year in a row, Responsible Alcohol Retailers of Weld County have sponsored an essay contest, with the winner receiving a $500 scholarship. It is open to graduating seniors in Weld County, who submit an essay about underage drinking.

This year 26 students submitted essays. “Each one submitted was exceptional, offering many perspectives, concerns and solutions about underage drinking,” said Nomie Ketterling, coordinator for Weld County Prevention Partners which supports RAR of WC.


Here is the winning essay by Andrew Field, a Union Colony High School senior who plans to attend CSU in the fall:

It’s New Year’s Eve, and with only a few minutes left before midnight, the Mountain Standard Time Zone feels as though it’s holding its breath in anticipation. I’m at a friend’s house, celebrating the New Year with movies, popcorn, and the occasional firework. As the minute hand on a nearby clock continues its upward journey, I watch as social media erupts into a firestorm of clinking glasses and red noses. Among those of age, and those clearly not, there’s nothing but smiles as drinks are emptied, and then swiftly refilled, only to repeat the cycle once again. Everywhere, it seems, people are intoxicated with the idea that their intoxication is just for one night. It’s funny, a great way to celebrate. The next morning, when the first of another 365 days begins to dawn, its light begins to creep over the bodies of thousands of unconscious, drunken teenagers. Happy New Year.

It’s spring. A friend of mine has lost a close family member, and the loss has hit her hard. Though she knows it’s not a healthy way to cope, and though she is fully aware of the dangers associated with it, my friend turns to drinking as a solution. Popular media has suggested to her, through television shows, movies, and elsewhere that it’s an option for her. She goes to parties with friends, intent on forgetting, and drinks to cope with her feelings. When I talk to the sober her, is clear the pain remains.

As time passes, my friend feels the need to make a change. She sets a goal to quit her drinking, and manages to avoid the parties that used to influence her. I’m proud of her, and I offer as much encouragement as I can.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, the holiday of drinking, and once again social media is alight with images of alcohol-fueled celebrations. Everywhere, people of all ages choose to consume with reckless abandon. My friend is no exception.

With over four thousand deaths attributed to underage drinking each year, it is readily apparent that the practice is a lethal one. Despite the clear dangers it poses, drinking is widely ignored, if not encouraged among younger populations. Teachers, parents, and peers are likely aware of this drinking, but fail to act either because they do not see it as a significant issue, or because they believe reporting it could worsen the lives of those reported. Because of this, any solution to the problem of underage drinking needs to target those who are doing the drinking themselves. In my experience, teens that drink tend to separate themselves from the problem. They rationalize that when they drink, there doing it responsibly. They imagine that they have limits, and that they are just as safe when they are drunk, as when they are sober. When they make mistakes while drunk, or drink too much, they laugh as though these experiences are pinned on them like medals, and they tell the stories for years to come. However, it’s likely that few of the four thousand youth that lose their lives each year because of drinking think such a fate will be theirs.

To change all of this requires much more than the actions of one person. It means a shift in the way our society turns a blind eye to the consequences of underage drinking. It means the work of important organizations like RARWC. It means getting teens to realize that all of the negative consequences associated with underage drinking can, and do apply to them.

Andrew Field



Talk to your kids about the dangers of alcohol and drugs





This edition features:

“Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 27”

“Halloween And Your Teen”

“Family Activities to Share With Your Teen”

“Responsible Alcohol Retailers of Weld County”

“One in Three Colorado High School Students Use Nicotine”

“Is Your Teen A Cell Phone Addict?”

“Did You Know?”

You’ll also find parenting tips, information about underage drinking and drug use and great ideas to help your kids make healthy life choices. You’ll also hear from law enforcement, educators and concerned parents like you.

Click here for the latest edition.

Looking for past issues? Click here for the archive.

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*Stats courtesy of Drug Abuse.gov
12th graders who used marijuana in the past month
12th graders now use marijuana every day
The amount of THC in marijuana has increased over the past few decades



  • The potency of marijuana has more than tripled in the U.S. since the 1990s.
  • In the Netherlands, marijuana’s THC levels are regulated to be 15% or less. In Colorado, the average potency is 17.1 percent in flowers/buds and the average potency in concentrates is 62.1%
  • Colorado ranks first in the nation for the use of marijuana by youth ages 12+.
  • Research now shows marijuana is harmful to developing brains of adolescents, which may result in psychotic symptoms, schizophrenia, drug addiction and lower IQs.
  • The rise of high-potency marijuana has coincided with increases in hospitalizations and poison center calls in Colorado.
  • A major study published in Lancet Psychiatry Journal found that youth using marijuana daily had a 60% higher chance of never completing high school.
  • The same study found that kids who begin using marijuana before the age of 17 are 7 times more likely to commit suicide than those who don’t.
  • In Colorado, one of three high school seniors report using marijuana before they were 15.
  • Young people who use marijuana regularly are more likely to have memory issues, difficulty learning and lower math and reading scores.
  • Marijuana is addictive. It’s harder to stop using marijuana if you start at a young age.