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December 30, 1996

In the '70s, drug use among adolescents reached the highest levels in history [NATION, Dec. 9]. Alcohol and drugs killed so many teenagers that their life-span decreased while everyone else lived longer. To parents today we say, You can stop kids from going off the cliff. The prevention movement that we helped lead reduced regular drug use among a group of adolescents and young adults by two-thirds between 1979 and 1992. Your love and concern are the best things your kids have. Be loving but firm. Tell them you expect them not to use drugs or alcohol. Period. Band together with other parents to reinforce that expectation. Even though your kids will complain now (that's their job), they'll thank you when they grow up. And you'll thank yourself for having given them the chance to.

Executive Director
National Families in Action


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