Parents and Caregivers

Research consistently demonstrates how critical parents and caregivers are in impacting the likelihood of their children using substances. On this page, you will find an array of resources for parents and caregivers to best support their children in making healthy decisions. 


Parents and Caregivers

Parents/caregivers can maximize their role in prevention by practicing the following evidence-based strategies:

  • Establish clear rules around substance use
  • Keep informed about their child’s activities
  • Talk about the risks of substance use early and often

Getting Involved

Check out our calendar of upcoming events.

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Parent and Caregiver Resources

You’ll find useful resources in the sections below. Please note these resources are not exhaustive intervention/crisis resources. 

General Resources
  • Caregiver Helpline: Get Support Now
    • This helpline is here for you and anyone else playing a supportive role in the life of a young person struggling with substance use. Trained and caring bilingual specialists are ready to listen to your challenges, setbacks and obstacles and will propose a personalized course of action. You can text, schedule a call, or email to get support. (Resource link)
  • Caregiver Course: Teen-Safe:
    • Teen-Safe is an internet-based educational intervention for parents of high school students created in an attempt to make materials about teen substance use available to families, educators, and healthcare professionals. Our goal is to provide the latest science and true-life stories as educational materials to parents, and also to teens and pre-teens, to foster better family communications, promote resilience and healthy activities and reduce risky teen behaviors; to ultimately change young lives, preserve futures, and strengthen families. (Resource link)
  • Mental Health resources: Minding Your Mind
    • Provides mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, their parents, teachers and school administrators. Our goal is to reduce the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues. (Resource link)
  • Is Your Child At Risk? A Substance Use Risk Assessment
    • This risk assessment is designed to help you better understand the risks your child may face related to mental health, well-being, personality, family history, and their environment. You can take actions to reduce the chances your child will use substances or experience problems with them based on your results. (Resource link)
  • AAP CoE’s Interactive Q&A Portal
    • A two-way communication channel that allows clinicians, educators, parents/families, youth, and others to ask questions about social media and mental well-being. (Resource link)
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Addiction Resource Guide for Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties (Resource link)
  • Where to dispose of unwanted/out-of-date drugs (Resource link)
  • Other Helpful Links for Parents (Resource link)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Resource link)
Educational Resources
  • How substances impact the developing brain
    • Teen Brain Development, Teen Behavior and Preventing Drug Use (Resource link)
    • Animated video series from Addiction Policy Forum on Addiction (Resource link)
    • Just How Does Drinking Affect the Teenage Brain? (Resource link)
    • How Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Teenage Brain (Resource link)
    • Adolescent Brain Development (Resource Link)
    • Psychoactive Substances and the Developing Brain: New Findings Underscore Prevention Need (Resource link)
  • Vaping What Families Need to Know to Help Protect Children, Teens and Young Adults (Resource link)
  • Parents: Facts on Teen Drug use (Resource link)
  • Parent eBooks and Guides (Resource link)
  • Parents Guide to Tik Tok (Resource link)
  • Get Outraged: A public information campaign to educate parents of middle- and high school-aged youth about the dangers of vaping. The campaign aims to spread the word that vaping products contain nicotine, can damage a teen’s developing brain, and are addictive. The campaign also shares tips on talking with kids about vaping and resources to help them quit. (Resource link)
  • What is Youth Mental Health? (Resource link)
  • Children and Screens: Helping children lead healthy lives in a digital world (Resource link)
Talking to your child about...
  • Cannabis
  • Vaping
    • What You Need to Know And How to Talk With Your Kids About Vaping (Resource link)
  • Alcohol
    • Parent resources for talking to teens about underage alcohol use (Resource link)
    • For evaluating your own alcohol use and other resources about alcohol (Resource link)
    • Talking With Your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol – The Sound of Your Voice: Parent Guide (Resource link)
    • App for parents: “Talk. They Hear You.” is a free mobile app that helps you prepare for one of the most important conversations you may ever have with your children about underage drinking. The app provides parents and caregivers of children and teens ages 9 to 15 with the tools and information they need to start talking with their children early about the dangers of alcohol. It includes a suite of materials that helps reinforce the underage drinking prevention campaign’s messages. (Resource link)
  • Tobacco
  • General Drugs
    • Connecting With Your Teenager to Prevent Drug Use (Resource link)
    • Talking to teens about alcohol and other drugs: 5 conversation goals (Resource link)
    • Let’s Talk: Parent’s Guide to Start a Conversation (Resource link)
    • Preventing Drug Use: Connecting and Talking with Your Teen (Resource link)
    • Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Best Practices Guide (Resource link)
    • “What Parents Are Saying — Prevention Wisdom, Authenticity, and Empowerment”
      • Provides a platform for parents and caregivers to get informed, be prepared, and take action by having open and honest conversations with their kids about substance use and mental health. (Podcast link)
  • Healthy Relationships
How parents/caregivers can support their children
  • Alcohol
    • MA: The Power of Parents (underage drinking prevention PSA) (Video link)
    • Parenting to Prevent Childhood Alcohol Use (Resource link)
  • General
    • Tips for Communicating with Your Teen (Resource link)
    • Principles of Parenting: Communicating with Your Teen (Resource link)
    • Parents as Interventionists: Addressing Adolescent Substance Use (Resource link)
    • 6 Parenting Practices: Help Reduce the Chances Your Child will Develop a Drug or Alcohol Problem (Resource link)
    • A Parent’s Guide to Raising Resilient Kids: (Resource link)
    • A Practitioner’s resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children (Resource link)
    • Behaviors of Supportive Parents and Caregivers for LGBTQ+ Youth (Resource link)
    • A Guide to Testifying Against Harmful Bills for Parents and Supportive Adults (Resource link)
  • Mental Health
    • 7 ways to help your teen de-stress  (Resource link)
    • Students, Suicide, and what parents can do (Resource link)
    • 3 Strategies for Helping Students in Crisis Return to School (Resource link)
    • Hand Hold MA: Strategies and resources to support your children’s mental health (Resource link)
    • Before a Mental Health Crisis Hits: Creating a Family Safety Plan (Resource link)
    • Bullying & Mental Health Playbooks for Parents & Caregivers (Resource link
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