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August 25, 2009
Check In to Keep Teens Safe
As the lazy days of summer come to an end and your family members start running in all directions again, remember to check in with your teens. They might be able to drive and they might be focused on going off to college, but that doesn't mean they don't need you. Parents are the single greatest influence when it comes to drug prevention and kids who are close to their parents are less likely to engage in all risky behaviors. The more involved you are and the more questions you ask, the more valued they will feel.
Questions like where are you going, who will you be with, and when will you be home are sure to incite eye rolling, but will also help to keep them safe. It's also important to keep tabs on them when they are at home. Keeping track of their activities, monitoring their computer and cell-phone use, and paying attention to new or changing lifestyle patterns will all help to keep your teens out of harm's way.
Get tips on talking to your teensand monitoring their activities.
Setting rules for car safety
Parents have always worried about the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but teens are increasingly engaging in other risky behaviors while on the road. Research shows that talking or texting on cell phones, listening to loud music, and having too many passengers in the car can contribute to teen-related crashes. And according to one recent survey, these practices are becoming more commonplace as 36 percent of teens who own cell phones admit to texting while driving. Before handing over the keys to your teen drivers, remind them that driving is a privilege that can be revoked at any time.
Get expert advice on ensuring teen driver safety.
 U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). http://www.nhtsa.gov
 Nationwide Insurance, "DWD (Driving While Distracted) Survey." May 19, 2008. Page 3.
Talk to your teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and remember to:
1. Safeguard all drugs at home. Monitor quantities and control access.
2. Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider's advice and dosages.
3. Be a good role model by following the same rules with your own medicines.
4. Properly dispose of old or unneeded medicines.
5. Ask friends and family to safeguard their prescription drugs as well.
Take this tour to explore potential danger zones in your house.
One in 10 high school seniors have used painkillers for nonmedical reasons
A recent study found that students used drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine and codeine without a prescription to get high.
Read expert advice on "Safeguarding and Monitoring"your teens to learn how to help keep them drug-free.
Looking for FREE anti-drug information? Check out all of TheAntiDrug.com's Parent Resources>>
Click through TheAntiDrug.com's Drugged, Drunk, and Distracted Driving Toolkit, which includes tips, quizzes, a parent-teen driving contract, and more.