Summer is a time for young adults to create memories with friends while enjoying much deserved time off from school and a busy schedule. Mainers are fortunate enough to have easy access to plenty of fun outdoor activities, but it is important to remember that staying substance free is essential to having summertime fun and staying safe.
Research tells us that summer is also a time when teens may be more exposed to harmful substances due to more leisure time, social pressures and increased availability. Vaping, drinking and using other substances can harm the brain while increasing the likelihood of learning difficulties as well as both physical and mental health issues during the teen years and adulthood.
Summer Tips for Parents & Caregivers:
- Continue to be in-sync! Summer comes with a sense of freedom, but parents & caregivers can still ask their teen to check in regularly. Even for the summer, set an alarm for curfew time to check in with your teen as they return home.
- Talk to your teen about what they should do if they find themselves in a risky situation. Educate your teen on local resources such as local law enforcement, emergency contacts & remind them that they can always call you.
- If you hear about a summer party at your teen’s friend’s house, check in with the hosting parents about the presence of alcohol, marijuana & supervision. Contact other parents with concerns or questions; invite them to do the same.
- Keep track of any alcohol or other substances at summer events such as barbecues & pool parties by knowing how much you have, putting it away & ideally locking it away after use.