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Parents, The Anti-Drug

About Us

Parents. The Anti-Drug is a community based organization comprised of parents, local government and school officials, clergy and health providers whose mission is to generate conversation and provide accurate information about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Highland Park, Highwood, and Riverwoods.

We have developed a strong, dedicated coalition that surrounds youth and their parents with support in all their contexts: home, school, and community. We believe that to best meet our community needs, we must encourage collaborative dialogue among our community members and key stakeholders and to seek local partners and resources to support our efforts. Parents. The Anti-Drug is funded primarily through a grant from the Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park. Additional funding support is received from school PTO's, municipalities, service organizations, and individual donors.

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Parents. The Anti-Drug received a Those Who Excel award from the Illinois State Board of Education and were recognized for that achievement at the October 12, 2010 District 113 Board of Education meeting.

In photo: Cher Hanson, Prevention Specialist; Laura Kaufman, Co-Vice Chair; Kasey Silberman, Co-Vice Chair; Julie Hoffman, Chair; Harvey Cohen, District 113 School Board member.

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Partnership Attitude Tracking Study 2008

Know the facts

"It's just alcohol", "It's just pot", or "Teens will be teens – they are just experimenting." Have you heard this before or perhaps even had similar thoughts yourself? As parents, we need to learn the true facts. There is a lot of new science about teens and the effect of drugs and alcohol on their developing brains. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol can change the direction of a young person's life and can lead to many negative consequences including family problems, social problems, poor academic achievement, and trouble with the law.

Research shows that many teens know more about drugs than their parents do because of the deepweb sites information, like on Tor darknet. So take the time to educate yourself and learn the facts. Use these facts to have on-going conversations with your kids to help them stay drug and alcohol-free.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR COMMUNITIES?

Across the state of Illinois, schools are offered the opportunity every two years to administer a survey to students in 6, 8, 10, and 12th grades. The Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) covers a number of problem behaviors, including bullying, other violence, nutrition, and the use of gateway (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants) and other drugs. It also measures key risk and protective factors that strongly contribute to community-wide substance use rates. A review of the 2010 survey data from District 113 indicates:

For more information on the District 113 IYS results,including data from 6th and 8th grade students in the District 113 sender schools, please visit Township High School District 113.

ALCOHOL AND THE TEENAGE BRAIN

The teenage brain is still developing. The areas of the brain that encourage risk-taking develop early in a teen, while the areas that improve self-control don't develop until the later teens or early twenties. Alcohol use can cause serious damage to the still developing parts of the brain that control motor coordination, impulse control, memory, judgment, and decision-making capacity. These impairments create a false sense of security and feelings of invincibility when teens engage in risky behaviors, such as drinking and/or drug use. Consider these facts:

More children are killed by alcohol than by all illicit drugs combined.1 More than 67 percent of young people who start drinking before the age of 15 will try an illicit drug. 2 Teens who begin drinking at age 13 have a 45 percent chance of becoming alcohol dependent, while those who delay drinking until age 21 only have a 7 percent chance. Teens who drink are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and physical violence. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR INFORMATION ON UNDERAGE DRINKING

MARIJUANA - IT'S RISKIER THAN YOU THINK

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among youth and is more potent than ever. Although sometimes marijuana is perceived as a “harmless herb”, the fact remains that today's marijuana is addictive and causes harm to developing brains and lungs. In fact, in 63 to 69 percent of treatment admissions for 12 to 17 year olds, marijuana was the primary drug of abuse.3 Consider these facts: THC is the active ingredient in marijuana. THC acts upon cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Most of these receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thoughts, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Between 1998-2008, researchers noted a 103% increase in the potency of the THC found in marijuana. 4 Research indicates that the earlier kids start using marijuana, the more likely they are to become dependent on this or other illicit drugs later in life. The amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR INFORMATION ON MARIJUANA:

INFORMATION ON OTHER ILLICIT DRUG USE AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE:

Know the law

SOME IMPORTANT REMINDERS REGARDING THE LAW:

While parents may rationalize: "I'd rather the kid's drink where I know they are safe, rather than driving around in a car." "It's only alcohol – at least they are not doing drugs.", or "I would rather they experiment a little now so they won't go crazy when they go to college." The fact is that underage drinking is against the law and is hazardous to the health and safety of our teens.

Possessing, purchasing or drinking alcohol before age 21 is illegal.* As a parent, you cannot provide alcohol to your teen's friends under the age of 21 under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent's permission. If you break the law, Illinois Law states you can face a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail or a $2,500 fine. The penalty increases to up to 3 years in prison and $25,000 in fines if the drinking leads to serious injuries or death.** In Illinois, drivers under the age of 21 face a zero tolerance policy meaning they will lose their driving privileges if any trace of alcohol or other drugs is found. A person under the age of 21 can face a suspension of their driver’s license if found guilty or granted court supervision for a violation of state law or local ordinance relating to illegal consumption, possession, purchase or receipt of alcohol, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved. **Please visit your village website regarding additional laws that may exist regarding furnishing or supplying alcohol or drugs to minors.

CURFEWS

Curfews are set for the safety and well-being of our children. A curfew is about a teenager understanding that, yes, teens can go out and have fun, but there has to be discipline and responsibility. Involve your teen in the discussions of setting his/her curfew. Local laws also govern curfews.

People under the age of 18 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Highland Park, Highwood, and Riverwoods may not be out in public after curfew, unless accompanied and supervised by a parent, guardian, or responsible companion. (Please check your village website for specific details regarding your community curfew laws.)

The curfew hours are 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday until 6:00 a.m. of the following day; and one minute after midnight (12:01) a.m. Friday or Saturday until 6:00 a.m. of the following day.

Remember, a minor’s driver’s license is invalid during curfew hours and some insurance companies may not cover accidents if curfew is violated.

NIGHTIME DRIVING RESTRICTIONS FOR DRIVERS UNDER 18

Did you know that drivers under 18 have nighttime driving restrictions that are different from your own community curfew laws?

In Illinois, drivers under the age of 18 may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. If a teen is convicted of violating these nighttime driving restrictions, their drivers' license will be suspended. For more information on this law and the exemptions to it, please visit Illinois Graduated Driver Licensing System.

DISTRICT 113 POLICIES

District Philosophy/Policy
The use of alcohol, tobacco and other prohibited substances is illegal and a health hazard to adolescents. Prohibited substances include unlawful drugs, prescription drugs not used or intended to be used in accordance with the prescription and over-the-counter drugs not used or intended to be used as directed.

Students are prohibited from possessing, using, being under the influence of or distributing alcohol, tobacco or other prohibited substances in school buildings, on school grounds, in school vehicles or at any school event or activity. Possession or distribution of drugs, look-alike drugs, or drug paraphernalia such as, but not limited to pipes, bongs, rolling paper, etc., in these locations is prohibited. In addition to instituting disciplinary proceedings, school officials will also deny attendance at any school program or function to students who appear to be under the influence of, or who are in possession of, alcohol or other prohibited substances. The Principal or Principal's designee will notify legal authorities of all evidence and reports of all illegal activity if warranted.

For more information on the policies and consequences, please refer to Township High School District 113.

Parents Do Matter

Most parents don't realize that they are the #1 influence in their teen's lives.

How Parents Can Help Their Children Remain Drug and Alcohol-Free

  1. Get involved in your childs' lives.

Research shows that children are less likely to use drugs or alcohol when their parents are involved in their lives. Have daily, positive communication and interaction with your children.

  1. Set clear family rules.

Establish clear rules and expectations for non-use and make sure those rules are communicated consistently.

  1. Explain the risks.

Take time to educate yourself about the risks associated with drug use and underage drinking and discuss these with your child. Use current events in the newspaper or on the news to start a dialogue about the risks. For more tips, please visit our talking tips page.

  1. Monitor children's activities.

Research shows that kids who are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use drugs. As a parent you should always know where your children are, who they are with and what they are doing. If you are not with your children stay in contact with them. Studies show children are more likely to drink between the hours of 3:00-6:00 p.m. when unsupervised by parents.

  1. Get to know your children's friends.

Know who your children's friends are and get to know their parents as well. Discuss your no drug or alcohol rules with their parents and enlist their support.

  1. Make sure your children's social environments are alcohol-free.

Ensure that alcohol is not available to your child at home or from others when your child is not under your supervision. Check in with parents who are hosting a party that your child will be attending to ensure that no drugs or alcohol will be available.

For more resources on how to keep your teens drug and alcohol free, please visit our resources page.

Resources: theantidrug.com, taketimetotalk.org, drugfree.org, and "Underage Drinking" a publication produced by the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center, Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force, Illinois Department of Transportation, and Speak Up Prevention Coalition.

Talking Tips

You know you have talked with your teen about your expectations when it comes to alcohol and drugs. You probably talked about the dangers of using, the legal and health consequences, etc. But did you know that your teen might not remember this conversation? When teens in District 113 were asked if their parents talked with them about not using alcohol, 1/3 of them responded "no" or they "did not remember".

To be effective, conversations regarding drugs and alcohol must continue on a consistent basis. There are lots of moments each day to have these discussions with your child:

HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN TALKING WITH YOUR CHILD.

  1. Set clear rules and expectations. Discuss the rules and what behavior you expect. For example: Alcohol use can cause long-term damage to a developing brain and has several risks associated with it. The law says that you have to be 21 to drink for these reasons. Our family follows the law.

Marijuana use is illegal and is harmful. We expect that you will make healthy decisions to protect yourself and your future and that you do not use marijuana.

Discuss consequences for breaking the rules and make sure to enforce them should violations occur. Remain consistent with holding your child accountable for their actions. An example of enforcing a consequence may be:

Because you stayed at a party where there was no adult supervision and where people were drinking, you're not going anywhere - no football games, no movies, nowhere - for one week. I am really upset and disappointed that you broke a family rule that we previously discussed.

Make sure that your child understands that the rules are to be adhered to at all times. In addition, make sure that you are setting a good example. Children notice when their parents say one thing and do another. For example, if your family has a rule about drunk driving, make sure that you never get in the car when you have been drinking or with somebody who has.

  1. Make it safe. Teens want respect just as much as you do. If you come off as judgmental or accusatory, they will back away from the conversation. Engage them in the conversation - use facts to initiate conversations that may lead to answers you are looking for. For example:

I just read that 69% of High School sophomores in our school district, report NOT having used alcohol in the last month. How does this number compare to what you see and believe to be true?1

Or perhaps, your child comes home smelling of marijuana. Your initial reaction may be to yell or react over emotionally. The best response should be calm and serious.

I’m really upset that you are smoking marijuana. I need to get a handle on how often this has been happening and what your experiences have been so far. I get that you’re worried about being in trouble, but the worst part of that moment is over – I know that you’re experimenting. The best thing you can do now is really be straight with me, so for starters, tell me about what happened tonight…

  1. Be a good listener. Ask questions and encourage your child to express their points of view. Try paraphrasing what your child has just communicated to you so that they know you understood them. Showing your willingness to listen will make your child feel more comfortable about opening up to you.

  2. Recognize good behavior. Giving your child daily positive reinforcements, communicating respect, and showing an interest in your teens' life will help him or her feel safer coming to you when problems do emerge.