Q. When it comes to substance use; drinking, weed, vapes… if teens know it’s wrong, illegal and their parents would disapprove, then why do you think they do it?
A. I think teens are using because there is a lot of pressure on them about school and their grades from their parents and peers.
A. I don't think teens really get that it’s wrong.
A. Peer pressure. Stress and Anxiety. The need for popularity. To cope with their problems.
A. Teens don’t care, they just want to be cool, show off to their friends, rebel against their parents and try to de-stress.
A. I think teens do it despite knowing the consequences because of the “coolness” factor. I do think it depends on your friend group though.
A. There are a few reasons; to try to cover their problems or mask their emotions, or it could be they are trying to boost their social status.
A. Kids are interested in conforming to the social norms of their friend group. If someone’s friends are doing drugs, they are more likely to do so as well.
Q. Do you think teens understand or are aware of the affects, the harm, the consequences of using these substances?
A. Teens think vapes are a safe alternative to smoking.
A. Teens don’t understand that vapes contain nicotine or harmful chemicals. They think it’s just water.
A. Most teens believe vapes have no harmful effects, but it is really building a foundation for addiction.
A. I think teens think marijuana is safe because it is natural.
A. Teens know you can’t OD on marijuana and that makes then believe there is no harm.
A. Teens are very aware of marijuana, it’s very prevalent. Unfortunately, it is also a very addictive substance.
A. I think teens think that because alcohol is a legal substance it is safe for them.
A. Many do know the risks, but just don’t care, because there is so much peer pressure.
A. Many teens see their parents and other adults drinking so they think it’s okay. And, it’s easier to get than other drugs.
A. I don’t think teens are aware of the long-term effects on their brains and body.
Q. What should schools and the community do to get a more direct and effective messages to teens?
A. Have people talk to us about their experiences with drinking and drugs.
A. Schools shouldn’t give students opportunities to use drugs. Students are unsupervised a lot, and teaches are uninformed.
A. We need better counseling at school. Check-up with your students more regularly – some kids just fall through the cracks.
A. Better security at school. More PSA’s and assemblies addressing alcohol and drug use and the consequences.
Q. What should Parents know OR do to better support their teens?
A. Parents should let their teens know that there will be consequences, but they will be there for them when they do make a bad choice.
A. Parents need to understand that teens are easily influenced by their friends, the media and society.
A. Be more open and less judgmental of your kids. Too many kids are not trusting of their parents with drug issues.
A. Pay more attention to your teen -- know what they are doing, who they are with and what’s going on in their daily life.
A. Show us more examples of real-life tragedies/consequences from people who use substances.
A. Communicate more with your teen. Try to really understand what is going on in their lives.
A. Start talking to your kids about this when they are younger – middle school at least.
Q. What would you like to see addressed? Do you have any thoughts on messaging or reaching teens better on this issue?
A. I would like to see Parents be more informed about vaping. How to recognize the signs, what to look for, and then how to handle it.
A. The huge amount of stress and anxiety teens are trying to deal with today. And, the consequences of substance use.
A. I need everyone to understand that is it so hard to be a teenager today and I wish that they would all be more supportive.
A. Parents need to be better informed about what’s happening with teen substance use.
A. Helping teens find healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety.