Need Help Having the Drug Talk? There's an App for That.

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Our nation’s medicine cabinets contain more than two hundred million pounds of wasted, leftover prescription medications. Often going unmonitored, six out of nine youth are sneaking these meds for some type of highbut who is using, and what do parents need to look for? 

Answers to these questions and more substance use facts are available on the new Talk Sooner app for iPhone (only) and on www.talksooner.org. Parents could easily access information about different substances, including alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, and learn about the latest drug trends facing West Michigan youth. 

More than just facts, the Talk Sooner app provides guiding information to help parents talk with their children about substance use, what signs parents need to look for, and where to go locally for help if they find their child is using drugs. 

“Parent involvement is essential to preventing youth substance use,” said Stephanie VanDerKooi, prevention services coordinator at the Lakeshore Coordinating Council. “We want parents to talk with their children early and often about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, and other substances. The Talk Sooner app will enable parents with the knowledge and support to have these conversations.” 

Years of research has proven that teens whose parents are “hands-on” or engaged in their teens' day-to-day livesrelaxing with them, having frequent family dinners, supervising them, establishing standards of behavior, and setting positive examples of healthy behaviorare much less likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs. 

“Families are spending more time on-the-go these days, and less time sitting around the dinner table at home,” said VanDerKooi. “These conversations often need to happen in the car, out for dinner, or maybe during another activity; the new Talk Sooner app will help them to do this.” 

The new Talk Sooner app for iPhone is free for parents, grandparents, or anyone else seeking advice, tips, and knowledge about youth substance use and how to talk to their child.  

Source: Ottawa Public Health Department Photo: stock.xchng

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