Submitted from The Council on Substance Abuse- NCADD

Montgomery, AL– Spring Break season is quickly approaching us. To most teens and youth, this means a week off from school time to have fun. There are a host of activities that teens like to engage in during break. Whether its playing video games, going to the park and mall, or partying at a friend’s house, teens will surely find a way to have a good time during break. Unfortunately, there are some teens who consider smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol as spring break fun.

Drug Free Action Alliance (DFAA) suggests that unsupervised youth are three times more likely to engage in risky behaviors like smoking, drinking, and other drugs. For some younger teens and pre-teens, this upcoming Spring Break may be their first experience being home without adult supervision for an extended period of time each day. In addition, DFAA says that every day, 8,000 kids take their first drink of alcohol; 6,000 kids smoke marijuana for the first time; and 8,000 kids use an illicit drug for the first time. These firsts are likely to happen with little or no adult supervision.

Marijuana use can have a serious impact on a teen’s life. First, marijuana effects the brain. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that teen marijuana use can cause difficulty in thinking and problem solving, problems with memory and learning, impaired coordination, and difficulty maintaining attention.

The CDC also reports that 38% of high school students have reported using marijuana in their life. With this is mind, marijuana use can have negative effects on school and social life. According to the CDC, marijuana can case a decline in school performance, increased risk of mental health issues, impaired driving, and potential for addiction.

There are many ways that you can help your kids enjoy a safe, drug-free spring break. DFAA recommends making clear your expectations regarding smoking, drinking, and other drugs. Set rules to which friends are allowed over while you are gone, as well as which friends’ house your child may visit. Also, be sure that you know where your child is and who s/he is with at all times and check in with your child throughout the day.

The Substance Abuse Council encourages parents to talk to their children about the risks of doing drugs such as getting arrested and having a criminal record.

For more information about underage marijuana use call 334-262-1629 or email

The mission of COSA-NCADD is to reduce the incidence and prevalence of the disease of alcoholism, other drug addiction diseases, and related problems.

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