Union County has a strong tradition of athletics and extracurricular activities, which is one of the strengths of our community. However, teens who participate in sports and extracurricular activities are still susceptible to making poor choices to use alcohol or other drugs.
70.3% of 7th, 9th and 11th grade students in Union County report being involved in athletics. However, those same students said that while their parents talked to them frequently about school events and homework, 41.5% reported their parents never or seldom talked about alcohol or other drugs. (Union County Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2014)
Parents have a critical role to play.
Be clear & consistent with your teen about the expectations for not using tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Let them know what the rules and consequences are for breaking them before there is a problem.
- Establish ways your teen can let you know they are in a situation that may involve alcohol or other drugs and may need to leave. (Text, call, etc.)
- Know your child’s friends and their parents. Stay in touch with other parents so that you can be aware of any concerns and make sure your teen is where they said they would be.
- Take advantage of opportunities in the car driving from to practices to talk about alcohol and other drugs and listen to what they have to say.
You should know . . .
Teens who participate in sports may have a greater risk of misuse and addition to opioid pain medications related to sport injuries. Parents and coaches should be aware of the potential danger of misusing these medications, since opioids have a high potential for abuse.
Sports can be a positive protective factor in a young person’s life because of structure, goal setting, fair play and achievement. But it’s not a silver bullet. Sometimes too much structure and stress might be one of the reasons teens drink alcohol or other drugs.
You can find more information about drug trends, parent tips and other resources visit: www.ucdrugfree.org. Follow us on Facebook at Union County Drug Free Coalition.