Ten Prevention Tips to use when talking with Youth

In an ongoing effort to provide resources to our community to help promote positive, healthy choices for our youth the Raymond Coalition for Youth is providing the following information.

This information is best shared with young people, be it your own child, grandchild, niece, nephew, employee, student or neighbor. Together we need to have these conversations with our young people so they are aware of the dangers and can help them to make positive choices.

Young people are faced with many challenges. However, very few have the potential to affect your life in a more significant way than the decisions you make about alcohol and drugs. The decisions you make about alcohol and drugs will influence your health, your grades, your relationships, your job or career, or your freedom.

In addition to the ten tips below it is important to point out that there are two important points to be aware of:

  • The Age of First Use of Alcohol and Drugs: Using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed increases a teens risk for future addiction to alcohol and drugs dramatically. Young people who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older. Research for drug use and drug addiction have found similar results. This is one reason the legal drinking age is 21.
  • Family History of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction: Whether a person decides to use alcohol or drugs is a choice, influenced by their environment — peers, family, and availability. But, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, the risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics. Alcoholism and drug dependence are not moral issues, are not a matter of choice or a lack of willpower. Plain and simple, some people’s bodies respond to the effects of alcohol and drugs differently. If you have a family history of alcoholism or addiction, you are four times more likely to develop a problem. To learn more: Family History and Genetics.

Hosting a "controlled party" - an underage drinking party - is illegal. Please watch this video made with the help of RCFY and the Raymond Police Department, that discusses this issue: 

Here are ten great talking points provided by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right. Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not. 
  • Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.
  • Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure: Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs. You don’t have to go along to get along.
  • Make Connections with Your Parents or Other Adults: As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.
  • Enjoy Life and Do What You Love – Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs: Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life.
  • Follow the Family Rules about Alcohol and Drugs: As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between you and your parents. Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful.
  • Get Educated about Alcohol and Drugs: You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated. Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs. And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family.
  • Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example: Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed?
  • Plan Ahead: As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them. And, do the same for your friends.
  • Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control: Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same.

Get Help! If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, (What to Look For), get help. Don’t wait. You are not alone.

Did you know:  Raymond has Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings that take place on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Take a look at the local AA district website for more info, as well as their meeting schedule page

For additional information, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence's website may be helpful.

Alcohol and Athletics: Not a Winning Mix


Helpful Links

Counseling Services:

Seacoast Mental Health Center – Promoting recovery since 1963

Webster Place Recovery Center – Where recovery works

Drug Information Facts:


MDMA Research Report

Molly Fact Sheet

Family Support:

Families First – Support for families, health care for all.

A Safe Place – Saving lives and creating futures

A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain

Boys Town – Saving children, healing families.

NIEHS Activities – Spend time with you child and have some fun – Games, Puzzles, Experiments

Family Day – Family dinners are an effective way to help keep America’s kids substance free


Drug Free NH DrugfreeNH.org is a collaborative effort of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.

Drug-free.org – Find the support, tools, resources, & answers you need as a parent or guardian.

PARENTS. The Anti-Drug.

CADCA – Building drug-free communities

Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free

New Futures – Advocate, educate, collaborate to reduce alcohol and other drugs in New Hampshire.

National Organization for Youth Safety

Allies in Substance Abuse Prevention

Free Online Alcohol Prevention Course for Parents

Talking to Kids: Drug and Alcohol Help Resources

National Alliance for Marijuana Prevention – Top Ten reasons. The issues are complicated, the answer is simple.

DrugRehab.com - An informational site with in depth guides and resources about addiction and ways to seek recovery.

Self Injury Prevention:

S.A.F.E. Alternatives – Self Abuse Finally Ends

Suicide Prevention:

The Connect Project – Training professionals and communities and suicide prevention and responses

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

National Alliance on Mental Illness


Granite Pathways Regional Access Points: Regional Access Point Services is a statewide network, accessible by phone or in person to help New Hampshire residents struggling with addiction, to get the timely, supportive services they need; helping both individuals and families navigate the complex systems of care to real solutions.

Road to a Better Life – Free yourself from your struggle with dependence. Nine locations throughout New Hampshire: Somersworth, Newington, Merrimack, Concord, Plymouth, North Conway, Littleton, Wolfeboro and Lebanon.

Addiction Recovery Services – Evidence-based treatment for substance use and co-occurring mental health symptoms. Portsmouth and Salem, NH locations. Intensive Outpatient Programs and Aftercare offered.

NH Alcohol and Drug Treatment Locator - Treatment for problems with alcohol or drug abuse is available. Find a provider in your area.

SAMHSA - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Opioid Treatment Program Directory.

Addiction Center: Helping you find an inpatient drug rehab in New Hampshire.