New, Bilingual Web Resources Help Hispanic Families Prevent and Address Drug and Alcohol Use Among Teens

~The Partnership at Drugfree.org Launches New Spanish-Language Tools for Parents as Substance Abuse Among Latino Youth Remains Higher Than O

The Partnership at Drugfree.org  has launched a variety of new tools for Hispanic parents and families, accessible at “HablaConTusHijos,” a free, bilingual (Spanish/English) online resource to help Hispanic parents who are struggling to address drug and alcohol abuse with their children. This new web resource was made possible with major support from MetLife Foundation.

According to Leslie Bloom, CEO of DrugFreeAZ.org, an alliance member of the Partnership at DrugFree.org, recognizing the urgent need within the Latino community for these kinds of comprehensive tools is what led to the development of “HablaConTusHijos. “The website provides effective and easy-to-use resources that will equip Hispanic parents and grandparents to take action in preventing teen substance abuse.”

Grounded in research, the new “HablaConTusHijos” provides science-based guidance to parents and caregivers, helping them prevent their child from using drugs or alcohol and how to take effective action if they suspect a child is using drugs or drinking. Clear, understandable content is brought to life with customized checklists, how-to guides and powerful videos featuring Hispanic parents and experts discussing various aspects of substance abuse and addiction for those who are at different stages in raising their children.

The website features practical advice from experts and other parents, including the “Six Components of Effective Parenting,” (Seis Practicas De Crianza) a tool developed as part of the Parents Translational Research Center – a joint venture of The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the Treatment Research Institute, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

Grandparents play a key role in caregiving for many children in Hispanic families and “HablaConTusHijos” will help them identify areas where they can get more involved in helping prevent substance abuse. Grandparents can download a free, Spanish-language Grandparents Guide, which shows how grandparents can be instrumental in helping keep their grandchildren healthy and drug free.

“Research consistently shows that kids who learn a lot about the dangers of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than kids who do not get those messages at home. We are responding to the crucial need within the community to equip Hispanic parents like myself with effective tools to address drug and alcohol problems,” said Monica Liriano, Assistant Director of Consumer Research for The Partnership at Drugfree.org and mother of two. “HablaConTusHijos  is a first-of-its-kind web resource – there really is nothing out there like it – and through this newly expanded effort, we hope to help steer families through the process of understanding drug and alcohol abuse and ultimately get help for a child who may be struggling with addiction.”

New Research: Substance Abuse Higher Among Hispanic Teens, Compared to Other Ethnic Groups
Earlier this year, the Partnership released its Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) results.  This nationally projectable study tracks drug and alcohol use among youth.

This most recent study shows that Hispanic teens are using drugs at alarmingly higher levels when compared to teens from other ethnic groups. According to the most current PATS research data:
 
• When compared to other ethnic groups, more than half of Hispanic teens (54 percent) reported having used an illicit drug in the past year, versus 42 percent of African-American teens and 39 percent for Caucasian teens

• Also, 23 percent of Hispanic teens report having ever abused a prescription medicine at least once, compared to 16 percent for Caucasian teens and 11 percent for African-American teens

• Half of Hispanic teens (50 percent) reported they have used marijuana in the past year versus 40 percent for African-American teens and 35 percent for Caucasian teens

• Hispanic teens are significantly more likely than other teens to have used Ecstasy and cocaine/crack in the past year:

o Ecstasy use is at 15 percent for Hispanic teens versus 9 percent for African-Americans and 6 percent for Caucasians

o Cocaine/crack use is at 12 percent for Hispanic teens versus 5 percent for African-Americans and 4 percent for Caucasians

Visitors to “HablaConTusHijos” can download the “Drug Guide for Parents: Learn The Facts to Keep Your Teen Safe,” (Guía de Drogas Para Padres), as well as an informative drug chart underscoring the most commonly abused drugs among teens and the physical consequences of abuse.

“We know there is an essential need for these types of bilingual resources for the Hispanic community here in Arizona,” said Bloom. “‘Habla Con Tus Hijos’ will not only help Latino parents and families navigate their way through this important health issue, but it will give them the tools they need to take action if their child is struggling with drug or alcohol use.”

“We need to educate ourselves about the dangers posed by drug and alcohol abuse within our own families,” said Paul Martinez, an Hispanic outreach coordinator with DrugFreeAZ.org . “A resource like is so valuable in offering Hispanic parents information that is easy to understand and will help us find effective ways to communicate with our kids. We know parents are the biggest influence over the decisions our kids make and we need to talk frequently with them about the risks of abusing these substances. They will listen!”

Bilingual Helpline Helps Parents and Caregivers Plan a Course of Action

The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s bilingual (English/Spanish), toll-free helpline is dedicated to helping parents and families who may not have access to the comprehensive resources at “HablaConTusHijos” or who want to reach out and speak to a qualified social worker about their child’s drug use or drinking.

The Parents Toll-Free Helpline – 1-855-DRUGFREE – (1-855-378-4373) is staffed by social workers with practical experience in substance abuse intervention and treatment. These specialists offer expert advice to help parents plan a course of action for teens who are struggling with substance abuse and, if appropriate, supply a short list of resources or treatment facilities in their area. The Parents Toll-Free Helpline is not a 24-hour crisis hotline and is staffed Monday-Friday from 10 am-6 pm EST.

For more information in Spanish visit “HablaConTusHijos” or The Parent Tool Kit in English.

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About DrugFreeAz.org:
DrugFreeAz.org - The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Affiliate is a 501(c) (3) non-profit statewide organization with a volunteer board of directors. Their mission is to prevent and reduce youth drug and alcohol use through community education and awareness by providing parents, caregivers, healthcare providers, educators and others with educational tools, information and resources.

About The Partnership at Drugfree.org
Ninety percent of addictions start in the teenage years. The Partnership at Drugfree.org is dedicated to solving the problem of teen substance abuse. Together with experts in science, parenting and communications, the nonprofit translates research on teen behavior, addiction and treatment into useful and effective resources for both individuals and communities. Working toward a vision where all young people will be able to live their lives free of drug and alcohol abuse, The Partnership at Drugfree.org works with parents and other influencers to help them prevent and get help for drug and alcohol abuse by teens and young adults. The organization depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and is thankful to SAG-AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.

About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Our commitment to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide is reflected in our dedication to empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information visit MetLife.org.

PATS Methodology
The 23rd annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) of 3,322 teens in grades 9-12 and 821 parents is nationally projectable with a +/- 3.0 percent margin of error for the teen sample and +/- 3.4 percent for the parent sample. Conducted for The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, the 2011 PATS teen survey was administered in private, public and parochial schools, while the parent survey was conducted through in-home interviews by deKadt Marketing and Research, Inc.