While there is absolutely nothing wrong with teens experiencing a little boredom, too much time on their hands with “nothing to do” can lead to trouble, like experimenting with alcohol and drugs or engaging in other risky behaviors.
Randy Williams got hooked on pain medication after suffering an injury at age 17. The 2003 Dublin Coffman High School graduate eventually turned to heroin and struggled with a dangerous addiction before dedicating himself to recovery.
The Putnam County Educational Service Center teamed with the state to introduce a multi-pronged anti-drug campaign to educate about the dangers of drug abuse. Start Talking! is one of the programs being used.
If you’re a parent or other caregiver of teens, you have likely had repeated “stranger danger” talks with them when they were younger. You taught them not to talk to strangers. You warned them not to fall prey to the stereotypical child lure of being offered candy to get into someone’s car, and so on. Those types of stranger danger safety conversations, though critical for little ones, tend to occur with less frequency as our kids get older. Child safety experts say, however, that those age-appropriate safety talks are critical for older children as well and need to continue into and throughout their teenage years.
Research shows that children are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs when parents or other trusted adults, such as teachers, talk with them about drug abuse.
Start Talking! is a drug prevention initiative designed to encourage frequent conversations with children about substance abuse. Start Talking! and the Drug Free Action Alliance offer 10 tips to begin a productive conversation with kids.