Dear Editor,


Whether driving kids to soccer practice, enjoying a family dinner or tucking little ones into bed, it’s important to remember that these every day activities have a lasting effect on our children. Each of these moments offers an opportunity to connect, share and really listen to what’s on kid’s minds. Particularly, as they begin to crave independence, bonding is crucial when allowing teens more freedom, all the while paying very close attention to their individual growing needs.

As children age, it is vital to keep lines of communication open, especially as they may feel increased pressure to start engaging in risky behaviors including smoking, drinking or using other drugs. Adolescence is a critical period for the initiation of risky substance use and consequences. Nine out of 10 Americans who meet medical criteria for addiction began smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before the age of 18. Addiction is a disease that, in most cases, begins in adolescence. Preventing or delaying teens from using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health, safety and mental well-being.

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Family Day – Be Involved. Stay Involved is The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse’s national initiative to promote simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent substance use in children and teensAcross the country on Monday, September 26th, 2016, join other families as we celebrateFamily Day together. To learn more about Family Day and to join parents all across America in taking the Family Day STAR Pledge, log on to You can also post family selfies with the #myfamilyselfiehashtag to be a part of a social media campaign on Family Day.

Find more Family Day information in Sussex County at The Center for Prevention and Counseling where, among other resources, free materials about Family Day from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse are available. The Center has a wide variety of information for adults to understand how talking to youth and young adults can prevent substance use at any age. Call, log on or connect on social media with The Center today and learn about programs, services and other ways to prevent substance use for your family, club, business, organization or community needs. (973)383-4787



Annmarie Shafer

The Center for Prevention and Counseling

61 Spring Street

Newton, NJ 07860

(973)383-4787 ext. 240

(973)383-6576 fax

(973)271-0728 cell