Resource Guide for Parents & Families

check Want help with tough topics like substance use and abuse, sexual abuse and assault, depression and suicide?
check Do you wonder what’s “normal” and what’s not during adolescence?

This resource guide addresses issues common among adolescents in Gallatin County. It provides tools to help you guide your children. It encourages you to network with other parents/guardians, community agencies and your schools to help your children lead a productive, successful lifestyle that is free from alcohol and other drugs.

This guide calls for action, for more communication; parent to teacher and parent to parent. It is a call for more involvement, a call to work together to help our youth to lead productive, successful alcohol and drug-free lives.

A complex issue, underage drinking can only be effectively addressed through a cooperative effort between parents, schools, community leaders, and the youth themselves.

Three areas have proven to be effective in prevention of underage alcohol and substance use: curtailing the availability of alcohol, consistent enforcement of existing laws and regulations, and changing cultural misconceptions and behaviors through education.

Consider some facts related to underage alcohol use

check Alcohol is a factor in the four leading causes of death among persons ages 10- 24 through motor vehicle crashes, unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.
check Approximately 9.7 million current drinkers in the United States are between the ages of 12-20.
check Alcohol is the drug most frequently used by high-school seniors.
check Young people begin drinking on average at12.6 years of age, and begin drinking regularly at 14.5 years of age (2006 MT Prevention Needs Assessment).
check Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.

Let’s get started on the solution as a community. We can’t afford to wait any longer when it comes to the safety of our children.

This parenting guide is intended to educate you, to let you know that you aren’t alone with your challenges as a parent or guardian.

Facts taken from the 2013 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey

checkHad a drink in the past 30 days: 11% of reporting Gallatin County middle school students; 36% of reporting high school students.
checkBinge drinking (5 or more drinks on one occasion): 29% of reporting high school students.
checkWas a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who was under 21 and drinking: 17% of reporting middle school students; 22% of high school students.
checkMisuse and abuse of prescription medication: 19% of reporting high school students.

Young people who are trying to self-medicate need help with their underlying problems. They need professional treatment.

Other resources: How treatment works | Keep Talking, Montana: You Can Prevent Underage Drinking | Comparison of Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey and United States Results |Community Coalition on Drug Awareness
Video, Why are Teens so Moody?
Our parenting resource guide: Definitions of Terms Used | Parenting Tools | Safe & Legal Teenage Parties | Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse | Ages and Stages of Adolescent Drug Use 
Sexual Assault and Bullying | Depression and Suicide | Return to Adolescent Resource Center Parenting Page