Did you know that December has been named National Impaired Driving Prevention Month? We encourage you to use this reminder for three purposes:

1. Talk to the young drivers and soon to be drivers in your life about the importance of not driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs. Studies have shown that cannabis impairment can last up to 6 hours after use depending on THC content and other factors. Teach your teens how to speak up and to get help. Don’t let someone get behind the wheel while intoxicated. There are two great resources to support these conversations: ParentUpVT and “Talk. They Hear You.”

2. Think about holiday gatherings that you are hosting or attending. Are alcohol or other adult use substances present? Do they need to be? As adults sometimes we overlook the unintended messaging that we give youth when alcohol is present at every party or function. If you choose to have adult-use alcohol or cannabis present, take steps to ensure that youth cannot access these substances, even through secondhand smoke exposure. Check out this helpful podcast, “Parenting Through the Holidays.”

3. Concerned about overuse of substances? Know that we have an amazing local recovery center in the Lamoille Valley with awesome supportive staff and volunteers who are ready to talk with you or your loved one. Visit the North Central Vermont’s Recovery Center’s website to learn more!