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Keeping Your Kids Drug-Free

A How-To Guide for Parents and Caregivers

Mother and Daughter

A Message From Our Partners

Whether you are a parent, grandparent or any other person who cares about a child’s future, we thank you for your interest in preventing drug abuse. It’s hard for us to imagine that a child we love could end up using drugs. But chances are, most children will be faced with, “Should I, or shouldn’t I?” This booklet will help you teach your child to know that the answer is, “I shouldn’t, and I won’t.”

Here are some facts about kids and drug use: Forty percent of U.S. teens say they expect to use a drug in the future. One out of every five kids in eighth grade has already tried marijuana. Use of substances such as marijuana and inhalants can result in social consequences (e.g., failing in school) and physical consequences such as reduced stamina and fitness or damage to the lungs and brain. Teens who smoke cigarettes are more likely to drink alcohol. Teens who smoke and drink are more likely to use marijuana. And those who use all three are more likely to use other illicit drugs. Long-term studies show that use of other illicit drugs among youth almost never occurs unless they have first used marijuana.

Now here is the most important fact you should know: Kids who learn from their parents about the dangers of underage drinking, drugs and other harmful substances are less likely to use those substances. In other words, you have the power to keep the child you love safe, healthy and drug-free. But finding the right words and the right approach can be hard. That’s where this booklet comes in. It can help you put your good intentions into action.

The nation’s pediatricians and National PTA thank you for taking the time to focus on your child’s healthy future. Someday, your child will thank you as well.


American Academy of Pediatrics

National PTA

  American Academy of Pediatrics Logo National PTA logo

In 1998, with bipartisan support and through the united efforts of Congress and the president, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) created the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. This multidimensional effort, designed to educate and empower youth to reject illicit drugs, reaches Americans where they live, work, learn, play and practice their faith. is a Web site that provides parents and other adult caregivers with strategies and tips on raising healthy, drug-free children. The site encourages parents to help their children with difficult issues by focusing on major concepts including love, trust, honesty and communication. Information from is now available in Spanish at and in various Asian languages (Korean, Cambodian, Chinese or Vietnamese) through the home page.

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