KNOW More, DO More: Prevent Youth Substance Misuse
Feb 18, 2021
Every day, we hear stories about how opioids exist in our communities — particularly, prescription painkillers — and the dangers posed by these medicines, especially when it comes to our kids. We’re uncovering new information every day about various medications and substances, the effect they have on kids physically, mentally and emotionally, how misuse can be prevented, and where families can find treatment.
Part of our role as parents is to protect our kids from dangerous substances by knowing the risks and signs of misuse, helping them make the right choices, and getting them access to the support they need.
The challenge, however, is navigating all of this information and knowing where and how to start being aware and getting help. For this reason, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has partnered with the Dublin ACT (Adolescents and Community Together) Coalition, a team focused on preventing and reducing youth substance misuse, to create a series of tools that parents and schools can use to launch or enhance an alcohol and drug prevention program.
The KNOW More DO More prevention guide includes:
A pre-test to see what your baseline knowledge is regarding substance misuse in kids.
Information about how to take the first steps to understanding various substance misuses and how our kids can be impacted.
A review of the unintended consequences of the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.
The KNOW More Do More/Schools Keeping Kids Safe by Preventing Substance Misuse guide details steps being taken within our schools to:
Relay what’s happening in the community.
Build a cohesive team (staff, athletics, medical providers, parents and students) by providing information for school administrators to make changes to an existing program or start a substance misuse awareness program; this includes information for athletic directors, coaches, athletic trainers and parents of athletes to use with athletes in schools.
Teach parents and communities where to find resources and how play an important role in substance misuse prevention through S.M.A.R.T. Tips for parents.
Understand that underage drinking can ruin the things parents want for their children – health, happiness, safety and success. Sometimes, the coolest thing parents can do for a teen is to be a parent.
Learn how to talk to a child’s doctor about pain medications.
Parents learn to ask important questions like, “Are there ways to control pain without using prescribed meds?” or “How long should I expect my child to need pain medication?”
Understand the importance of sharing addiction risk factors with a child’s doctor.
Getting involved in a school- and community-based substance misuse prevention program is invaluable for the health and safety of the youth in your home and community.
Sharon Wrona, DNP, PNP, PMHS. AP-PMN is the administrative director of the Comprehensive Pain and Palliative Care Services at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
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