• Communicating is Key to Keeping Your Teen Safe
    • State firmly that your child should never get in a car with someone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs.
    • Let them know that you will pick then up at any time of night if they have been drinking or feel unsafe for any reason - no questions asked. 
    • Remind your child that it is illegal to consume alcohol under the age of 21.
    • Speak frankly about the consequences of excessive drinking and the use of drugs.  State specifically that these behaviors are illegal and can lead to loss of driving privileges and have even more serious consequences such as sexual aggression, violence, arrest and other problems that can affect them for years.
    • Insist that they make agreements with friends about never leaving anyone behind or alone.
    • Help them learn to say "No" when someone wants them to do something they don't want to do.
    • Get to know their friends, their parents and know how to contact them.
    • Keep your child's number, friends' and their parents' numbers in your cell phone.
    • Make sure your child knows how to contact their friends' parents in case of emergency.
    • Instruct them to leave any situation that is uncomfortable for them.  When they are in doubt, tell them to call 911.
    • Remind your child to call 911 if one of their friends has a medical emergency related to excessive drinking and tell them to stay with the friend until medical help arrives.
    • Encourage them to call 211 if they want to talk or find out about other resources for help.
    If you would like to learn more about how to talk with your child, please call
    The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources
    a program of Children's Aid and Family Services, at 201-488-8680 or visit http://www.tcadr.org