The Comprehensive Health and Prevention Programs (CHPP) department provides districts and schools with leadership, consultation, coaching, training, and technical assistance to meet education code requirements and carry out federal and state funded comprehensive alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention programs.
Why Prevention Matters for Teens
Preventing teenagers from abusing drugs and alcohol means getting them through a vulnerable time in their life.
Research has shown that people are more likely to develop an addiction if they start abusing drugs at a young age.
The goal of prevention is often just postponing that first drink until the teen’s brain has developed enough to enable responsible decision-making skills. If you think a teen you care about is abusing drugs, we can help you.
Negative Consequences of Teen Substance Use
It’s important not to downplay teenage drinking or drug abuse. Some may “grow out” of this behavior, but even those who do are subject to negative consequences of drug abuse that may be long-lasting. These include:
- Mental health problems (including depression and anxiety)
- Strained or broken relationships with friends and family
- Physical health problems
- Academic problems and suspensions
- Ending up in the juvenile justice system
Teens Who May Be at Risk
Statistically, some teenagers may be at a higher risk of developing a substance abuse problem. Recognizing who may be at risk could provide important preventive help for teens who need it most. Common risk factors include teens who:
- Are in periods of transition. Going from elementary to middle or middle to high school means teens are often introduced to new pressures and influences. Younger teens may be encouraged to do drugs to fit in with the older crowds, and new social circles could introduce teens who are already using drugs.
- Suffer from mental health disorders. Depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns can manifest in children at a young age. In many cases, those who face these issues are more likely to have a substance abuse problem.
- Don’t have positive adult influences. Teens who come from broken or abusive homes are rarely aware of the consequences of drug abuse. Additionally, teens who grew up around family or caretakers who abused drugs are far more likely to continue the cycle of abuse in their own lives.
Educating Teens on Alcohol and Other Drug Risks
The teenage brain is in a state of rapid development, which can lead to erratic behavior. Research suggests the human brain isn’t completely mature until 25 years old, and the most dramatic changes in growth happen during adolescence. Because of this, teens aren’t always mentally equipped to make the best decisions about their health and future.
Get Help for Your Teen
If your teenager is showing signs of a problem with drugs or alcohol, it’s time to get help. Our treatment specialists will counsel you on how to talk to your teen, what to say and how to get treatment.
Below are resources for parents and teens for alcohol and other drug prevention.