I’m In – A Parent Pledge
I want a “substance-free” childhood for my kids and their friends.
I pledge to:
- Protect my kids and their friends from potential harm by not providing them with marijuana, alcohol or nicotine.
- Actively supervise parties hosted at my house and ask attendees to hand over alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs if found.
- Prioritize prevention, use-cessation and delay among the things I parent.
- Examine my behavior and modify it if I believe it’s moving my child towards substance use.
- Continue my education and be in conversation with other parents to align our efforts in keeping our kids safe from marijuana, alcohol, and other drug use.
- Notice legislation, local initiatives, and leaders that seek to grant more Industry access (alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine) to my kids and others in our community.
- Welcome the involvement of others in the community (kids, other parents, schools, law enforcement, health care professionals, business and faith leaders, etc.) who share the goal of the I’m in movement – everyone’s influence matters.
Because I have come to understand:
- There are 3 main gateway drugs for 12-17 year-olds: marijuana, alcohol and nicotine.
- Family history of addiction puts children at an increased risk for addiction themselves.
- Adult addiction is increasingly being seen as a childhood onset disease with research showing 90% of adult addicts starting the use of some addictive drug before age 18.
- The brain is actively under construction and rapidly developing until approximately age 25.
- The ideas that “kids will be kids” or that “alcohol and marijuana are a rite of passage in high school” put youth at risk.
- Substance use in high school needs to be quickly addressed as does use in middle school. It starts potential damage to the developing brain even earlier and increases the likelihood of use in high school - compromising the opportunity for real adolescent growth along all pathways, i.e. academic, social, emotional, physical, neurological, etc.
- So far, marijuana legalization has been an exercise in commercialization (marketing/advertising/promotion/ wide distribution/etc), which has lead to increased access to the drug and an arbitrary reduction in the perception of harm surrounding marijuana use. Low access and high perception of harm are two known Environmental Factors that protect kids from underage use. Legalization exposes a greater number of kids to marijuana use and its harms.
And I recognize that:
- Adolescence is an inherently stressful time socially and academically. It’s important for my child to navigate these times through substance-free tactics so that real life skills for coping, social interaction, stress reduction and intimacy building are developed.
- Messaging from industry and social sources increasingly “normalizes” substance use. Parental opinion and messaging around marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs needs to become stronger and louder to counteract these external sources.
- I do have significant influence in my child’s life when it comes to alcohol, marijuana and other drug use.
the “I’m in” pledge to find out how parents of the 21st Century are making a difference and to join Parent Movement 2.0.