So what’s a parent to do? The impulse to take decisive action is understandable, but not having a reasoned game plan can lead to harsh knee-jerk reactions that often backfire and worsen the problem. The good news, is that the vast majority of young people who try drugs including alcohol continue to do well in life without further incident[i] [ii]. We are concerned however, that while most young people do not develop problematic relationships with substances, some do. We need to find ways to help them, their parents and educators to better know what they can do if youthful experimentation goes awry.

[i] http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs2014/NSDUH-DetTabs2014.htm#tab5-1b

[ii] http://www.casacolumbia.org/addiction/addiction-risk-factors