Keeping teens away from alcohol and drugs

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Drug and alcohol use is an ever-present concern for parents, especially when it comes to teens.

Lisa Carcifero of the Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition joined Eyewitness News This Morning in studio to discuss ways parents can prevent their kids from using illegal substances.

Parent Guide: Teens & Prescription Drugs »

Carcifero reminded parents that there are a variety of ways teens can gain access to drugs and alcohol, including in their own home.

Parents should take preventative measures to make sure prescription drugs and alcohol are inaccessible. This includes monitoring levels of alcohol in bottles, being aware of the number of pills in a bottle, or simply locking them away.

These substances can be accessed in other ways as well, including at a friend’s house or at school.

With the recent legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Massachusetts, Carcifero says the job of the coalition has in some ways become more difficult. As recreational marijuana becomes more socially acceptable, teens increasingly believe that use is not harmful. With low perception of risk usually comes an increase in use.

Opioid use is generally lower among young people, with data showing teens use these types of drugs far less frequently than marijuana, alcohol, or prescription drugs.

All in all, Carcifero said parents should be aware, and communicate with their children the dangers of using illicit substances.