Teen drug use concerns me. I am learning more about it, with the lofty hope of de-normalizing it. I’m assuming others might feel the same, and I hope this post is helpful.

When I was a teen, I smoked pot at fairly regular intervals. I was lucky and didn’t develop problems related to drug use. But marijuana & its spinoffs are quite different than back in the 80s. It would be natural for someone like me to shrug off kids using pot (after all, We turned out fine!). So I’m grateful to learn how these substances are different now—and to focus on what we now know about the teen brain.

It seems like harm reduction is a really wise framework for this topic. A friend pointed me toward a helpful brochure called Safety First. It’s free, downloadable, and you can also order print copies. That was a great place to start.

If you want to go deeper, there’s a whole curriculum (also free) which you can find here. The curriculum is extremely informative, and has seeded important discussions in my family about harm reduction strategies, mental health, and other crucial things. Learning together has helped us consider (in a non-judgmental framework) how we choose to be in the world.

The curriculum includes helpful videos (from AsapSCIENCE) like this one, about smoking vs. vaping. What I like about these videos is that they are chock full of science & facts, and are engaging and non-judgmental.

(Did you know? In Ohio, Good Samaritan laws protect teens who call 911 for medical help when they see someone overdose. I don’t know if this is widely known. Please tell your humans about this—and let’s all look out for each other.)

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