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.


Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything wrong as a parent? That you don’t get to spend enough time with your teen? Or you don’t know how to help him with his homework? Or you missed the school play or ball game because of a business trip? Before you beat yourself up too much, consider this:

What you’re doing right: You feed your family.

You probably buy your child their favorite snacks. And serve a special dessert for celebrations, right? Remember, you don’t have to make everything home made, or buy organic or make a hot breakfast every day. You’re being a good parent by providing nourishment to your family.

Want to do a little bit better?

Eat meals together as a family, whether at home or at a restaurant. Turn off the TV, put down the cell phones and talk about your day. Ask every member of the family to share the best thing about the day to get the conversation started!

What you’re doing right: You’re teaching your child something every day.

Whether you’re teaching a child how to tie a shoelace, or how to drive a car, you’re a teacher. Does your child know not to cross the street in the middle of the road? Does your teen know how to fix a meal, or clean a sink? You’ve helped your child learn so much. Just remember, you’re teaching your child even if you don’t think you are: your actions do speak volumes to kids. Don’t do things you don’t want them to do.

Want to do a little bit better?

Think about the most important lessons you learned as a teen. You might have learned the lesson from your parent, or a friend or other family member. Have you taken the time to share your experience and the lesson you learned with your teen? If not, why not take your teen out for a special treat and share the story with them? The two of you could go to the ice cream or pizza parlor. Sometimes a little one-on-one time makes sharing a little easier.

What you’re doing right: You’re running a household.

As a parent, you’re responsible for doing the shopping, cleaning the house, managing the bills and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. By doing these every day things, you’re also showing your teen how to run a household.

How you can do a little better:

Want to do a little bit more? Make sure you teach your teen how to have a budget, and how to be prepared for life’s little surprises and disasters. Talk to them about the importance of saving, and have them start a savings account. There are great budgeting tools like mint.com that can help your teen (or your family) make and stick to a budget.

What you’re doing right: You’re human.

You’re not perfect, and neither is anyone else. But when you make a mistake, how do you handle it? Try to remember that your child will learn how to handle mistakes by watching you handle yours. Try not to fly off the handle. Don’t be too hard on yourself, or others.

How you can do a little better:

Pat yourself on the back for doing the best job you know how to do. Be sure to praise your child for doing the best they know how to do, as well. If you make a mistake, try to take a minute to regroup. The old, “count to 10” method works in a lot of situations.

Click here for a Parenting Checklist that can help you and your family through the teen years!



Talk to your kids about the dangers of alcohol and drugs




*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.

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