Letters to the Editor

Empower kids to make healthy decisions

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. By communicating with kids about how cannabis affects the developing brain, parents and educators can help keep kids substance-free.

In 2019, nearly 12 percent of eighth grade students reported using marijuana in the past year and almost 7 percent used marijuana in the past 30 days. That’s why Responsibility.org launched a new digital module as part of their longstanding, science-based underage drinking prevention program, “Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix.” Holding honest, fact-based conversations with kids is the most important way to keep them substance-free, and digital programs like Ask, Listen, Learn provide important resources to parents and educators.

Kids are faced with tough decisions every day. By holding these conversations, we can increase their knowledge of the developing brain and empower them to make healthy decisions, which include saying no to underage drinking and cannabis use.

Chris Swonger, President & CEO, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. and Responsibility.org, Arlington, VA

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