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

    • Teens who learn about the risks of drugs or alcohol from their parents are 50% less likely to use drugs or alcohol than those who do not.
    • 2/3 or teens say losing their parents' respect and pride is one of the main reasons they choose not to drink or use alcohol
      • Yet, only 30% of teens report learning about the risks of drugs or alcohol from their parents.

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.

2. Set clear family rules.

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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:,,, 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.

















When parents were asked to draw the greatest influences on their teens, they placed themselves last.


When teens were asked to draw the major influences in their lives, they placed their parents first,
before peers and activities.