Set Family Rules
It is important that your teen knows your values, your position and your expectations when it comes to underage drinking and illegal drug use. Research shows that clear, strong, parental disapproval is the key reason teens have chosen not to drink.
Get to Know Your Teen's Friends
An effective way to head off peer pressure that your teenager may be feeling is to get to know your teenager’s friends.
Be Home and Awake When Your Teen Comes Home
The majority (70%) of Barrington High School teens report that their parents would probably not catch them if they were to go out drinking. This is partly due to sleepovers and partly due to parents not being home or not being awake when their teens come home.
Careful consideration must be given to sleepovers. Contact the hosting parents and confirm that they will be home and engaged to ensure that the teenagers will not consume alcohol.
Make a commitment that you will be home and awake when your teenager returns home after being out with friends. Your teen should know you will be home and awake.
Monitor Your Household Alcohol
Most teens don’t buy their alcohol at the local store. They take it from their home without the knowledge of their parents, or they steal it from refrigerators in open, unattended garages.
Talk to your teen about the alcohol around the house. This alcohol is not for their use. Close your garage door when the garage is unattended, or remove alcohol from a garage refrigerator.
Secure Medications and Remove Unused Prescription Medications from the Home
According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, two-thirds of teens who report prescription drug abuse are obtaining the drugs from family, friends, or acquaintances. It is important to monitor all medications in your home - securing them and keeping track of the number of pills and the refills - especially if you have medications in your home that are known to be addictive and commonly abused by teens, including opioids, benzodiazepines and stimulants.
To keep your children and home safe, dispose of any unused prescription or over-the-counter medications by taking them to your local police department or select Walgreen's and CVS stores. For a map of local drug disposal locations in Lake County, visit the Lake County Drug Disposal Map or the Cook County Meds Disposal Initiative website to find locations in Cook County.
Have a Code Word or Phrase for Difficult Situations
You and your teen need to develop a “Code Word” or phrase which they can say on the phone or put in a text message alerting you that they need help getting out of a difficult/dangerous situation. Work out this “Code Word” or phrase in advance and be ready and willing to help your teen if they ever use it.
It’s Never Too Early to Talk With Your Kids
Discuss drugs and alcohol with your kids early and it often. The BStrong Together website provides age-appropriate talking tips for talking with your kids about drugs and alcohol. It’s not just one conversation - repeated and frequent conversations are shown to be most effective.
Be prepared for tough questions. "Did you drink when you were my age?" "If drinking is bad for me now, then why do you drink?" When you talk with your kids about alcohol and drugs, be ready to field these tough questions.
Spread the Word
Talk to other parents and spread the word about the importance of addressing underage drinking. On this issue, there truly is strength in numbers.
Join BStrong Together
It is a great way to stay knowledgeable and up to date on this issue! Join BStrong Together here.
Attend BStrong Together Guest Speaker Events and Parent Coffees
These informative sessions typically start with a local expert providing background on a particular related topic, followed by open discussion among parents. View the upcoming schedule on our Events Calendar.
As a community coalition, we rely on volunteers to help coordinate and execute various programs throughout the year. Volunteer to assist BStrong Together with programming and events. Visit our Contact Us page for more details.
Support Our Community's Children and Youth Through a Donation to BStrong Together
BStrong Together is a 501(c)3 charitable organization which depends on the generosity of individuals, businesses, and grants from other community organizations. If you are interested in making a donation to BStrong Together, please visit our Donate page. If you would be interested in becoming a BStrong Together Sponsor or Partner, or a BStrong Together Event Sponsor, please email us at email@example.com.