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Substance Abuse

“Alcohol, tobacco and drug use rates by girls have gone up in the last decade.” This scary information came to us straight from Dr. Karol Kumpfer, director of the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

Even if you don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, chances are you know of someone who does. And virtually everyone knows somebody who smokes cigarettes—one of the biggest killers on the planet.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Stay clean. The most important thing you can do is stay away from dangerous substances. If you’re feeling pressured to use, talk to your parents, a school counselor or other trusted adult. They can help you look for positive ways, such as playing a sport, to avoid peer pressure.

Get some support. If a friend or family member is abusing drugs or alcohol, there are support groups out there for you. You are not alone—other kids are going through the same thing. Alateen Family Groups meet all over the country. Call 1-888-425-2666 to get a referral for a meeting near you.

Be supportive. Start a SADD chapter in your community. SADD used to be Students Against Drunk Driving, but the organization has broadened its scope and is now called Students Against Destructive Decisions. To learn more, go to sadd.org.

POSTED ON 2/18/2010 12:58:00 PM

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