You are the most POWERFUL influence on your child’s behavior!

This page provides tips and resources for parents to use when talking to their children about issues like substance use/misuse, underage drinking, prescription drug misuse, marijuana, LGBTQ youth, and more.

Underage Drinking

Talk to your kids

Talk early. Talk often. Over 70% of children say their parents are the biggest influence over their decision to drink or not.

When planning conversations with children ages 9-13, refer to the “Talk. They Hear You.” website, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This website has excellent information and tips.

Visit the SAMHSA website

Make a Difference focuses on having conversations with teens.

Download the Making a Difference guide (PDF)

Be a good role model

Be aware of the messages you are sending to children. Have you ever reached for a drink, saying ‘I had a tough day?’

Do you tell drinking stories in front of kids?

Do you ever ask your kids to get you a beer from the refrigerator?

Do you encourage your own friends to drink more? ‘Come on, just have one more!’

These can send mixed messages.

Know what’s out there

Do you understand the different substances and the use disorders associated with them? has valuable information on the different substance use disorders.

Prescription Drug Misuse

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 out of 4 teens report taking a prescription drug at least once in their life not given to them by a doctor.

70% of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.

What can you do? Take the steps recommended in our Prescription For Safety.

Prescription for Safety

Secure: Safeguard your medications. Lock them up! JM4C offers free home medication lock boxes as a safe and secure place to store your prescription drugs.

Click here to reserve your lockbox

Monitor: Would you know if someone took a few? Be able to say “Yes!”

Dispose: Use a drop box to safely get rid of expired or unused medicine. The map below shows the Rock County Drop Box locations.

Talk to your kids

It’s important that our children learn about the use and abuse of prescription drugs.

For tips on talking to teenagers, this guide, “Talk to Your Kids About Prescription Drug Abuse “Not Worth the Risk” is a helpful resource.

Download the guide (PDF)


According to National Institute on Drug Abuse research, most marijuana use begins in adolescence. The teen brain is still developing and it is especially vulnerable to drug use.

For more information, check out the NIDA’s “Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know.”

Visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse website

Promoting Happy & Healthy LGBTQ+ Youth

JM4C rainbow logo

Increasingly, children and youth are coming out at younger ages. They need our help to be safe and find their way in the world.

Learn how to be an advocate for your child by joining the Janesville Area Virtual Parent Support Group. It is a private, secure online group providing an opportunity to connect in a safe environment that fits busy lifestyles.

To access the online parent support group, please contact the Janesville Parents with Pride Support Group to receive an invitation to join.

Request an invitation

Trauma and Toxic Stress

Chronic stress can be toxic to children’s brains. Learn more HERE.

Children who experience trauma and toxic stress are at risk for health problems, substance abuse and other issues. Learn more HERE.