Parent & Community Resources

Helping Children and Youth Make Healthy Choices

Parents have a significant impact on the development of their children, including the choices they make and their decision to be drug-free. Trusted, healthy adults can often help youth thrive despite challenges and risks they may face. Get connected and be engaged with youth in a positive way, and support other adults in doing the same.

  • Send a clear and strong message that you disapprove of underage drinking and misuse of other drugs. Parents are the greatest influence on their children's decision to not use substances. Over 80% of young people ages 10-18 say their parents had the most effect on their decision to not drink alcohol. 
  • Talk to your children. Have regular conversations about a variety of topics. Developing trust and keeping talk open and honest will make discussions about the 'hard topics' not so hard after all.
  • Eat a meal together as often as you can. The dinner table is a great place to connect and have conversations with your kids. Youth who report having dinner with their families also report less substance use, better mental health, and more academic success.
  • Learn about all of the different ways that parents, caregivers, and healthy adults can reduce risks for young people.
  • Take a "risk quiz" if you think your child may be experiencing substance use issues.
  • Get involved! If you want to help other youth in the community, there are several groups in the county that already meet to support healthy youth, families, schools, and communities

Child and Parent

Whatcom Families Resources

Our community is not alone in seeing rising rates of youth vaping or struggles related to opioid addiction. Checking in regularly with the children in your life and staying engaged can reduce the likelihood that they'll use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or street drugs. It will have positive effects for youth related to school success and help them avoid other risks like teen pregnancy, delinquency, and violence at the same time.

Learn about the power of parents and trusted adults and get tips for connecting with youth at

Learn about opioid abuse prevention and addiction at