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Out of School Prevention & Keeping Kids Safe

Did you know that the summer months can be a prime time for teen experimentation with substance use? Why? With school out sometimes youth are without adult supervision for longer periods of time and boredom can also set in.

As a concerned adult, you may have already had the conversation with your child about the harmful effects of substance misuse and marijuana use but it never hurts to reiterate your points on a consistent basis. Be clear and set boundaries early in the summertime to make sure your teen or child knows the risks to marijuana use and your expectations for them and your family.

The following tips can be useful as a parent or caregiver as we strive to keep our children safe this summer!

  1. Have the Conversation. As a parent, it is important for you to know about the everchanging marijuana landscape and to talk with your kids about the risks to their developing brain and body.


  1. Put any substances out of reach. For instance, you may look into ways to lock up medications that you take and/or use give-back programs to get medications you’re no longer using out of the house. Lock up other products to make sure youth don’t have access to alcohol or tobacco in the home.


  1. Know where your kids are. Even if they are going to a party it is important for you to know where your kids are and if there will be a responsible adult at home at all times. Come up with a plan with your child on how they can avoid substance use and make it clear you will always come and get them when needed!


  1. Pay attention to your teens. Changes in friends, hygiene, and mood swings are not guaranteed red flags because those are also signs of teens growing up, however always be sure to ask questions and stay involved.


  1. Enjoy family time together! Connection to family, friends, and community is a great alternative to substance use and a wonderful way to spend summer.


As Let’s Be Clear Georgia’s 2024 Board President, I’m sending each of you well wishes for Summer 2024!

Kaitlin Burkly, MSW, CP serves as President of Let's Be Clear, GA's Board of Directors and is the Executive Director for the Georgia Prevention Project. She has developed and managed prevention programming for GPP since 2016. Kaitlin received her accreditation as a Certified Preventionist by PCCG in 2017. She provides oversight of the College Prevention Partnership, Expansion Project, Teen Action Council, GMP, Substance Education Training (SET), Partners in Prevention Project in Taliaferro County, Drug Free Communities grant in Polk County, and all community outreach programs. She is also a national speaker on topics around prevention in schools and peer to peer education. Kaitlin earned her bachelor’s degree in English from UGA and her MSW degree from The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University with a concentration in Community Partnerships. Kaitlin is passionate about working with youth and using education to strengthen communities. 

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