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Youth and Substance Use

Substance use among youth is a reality. Although rates have been declining, a recent BC Adolescent Health Survey shows 45% of students in British Columbia have tried alcohol; 26% have tried marijuana; and 21% have tried tobacco.

Excessive alcohol or drug use often leads to other complications such as serious injuries and accidents while under the influence, unintended sex, conflicts with family or friends, and problems in school.

Prevention

It is common for teenagers to be offered cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs. You can prepare by giving  factual information, sharing your values, and teaching  a young person how to make safe, healthy decisions about substance use.

While it's never too early or too late to talk about substance use with your kids, the recent rash of fentanyl related incidents is a reminder of just how important this conversation is.

Learn more here:   Let's Talk - Speaking with our Kids about Substance Use

                               Helping Your Child Avoid Tobacco, Drugs, and Alcohol

Is your teenager using drugs?

If you are a parent or caregiver who loves and worries about a teenager who may be experimenting with or regularly engaged in relationship with alcohol or other drugs, you are not alone. Island Health offers a workbook to help you understand and respond to substance use:

Recognizing Resilience: A Workbook for Parents and Caregivers of Teens Involved with Substances (.pdf)

You can also visit our Resources page for more information and support.

Help is available

If your teen develops a  problematic relationship with substance  use , you and your family may  benefit from a consultation with a substance use counselling professional.

Talk to your family doctor or other health care professional for referrals, and visit our Youth and Family Substance Use Services page. Please note that referrals are also accepted from families, youth themselves, or any allied service.

Also see: Substance Use Problems: How to Help Your Teen