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Healthy Habits Plan

Going through this plan with a young person can be a helpful way to start discussing healthy choices – especially if a young person is increasingly curious about alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs or other drugs, or may be experimenting with them already.

What You Need:
  • Pen or pencil
  • Piece of paper
Step 1

Reasons to avoid alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs not prescribed for you, and other drugs.

Using alcohol and marijuana, or misusing prescription drugs or other drugs can impact a young person’s health, social life, and even brain development. Work together to come up with the three most important benefits of avoiding alcohol, marijuana, medications not prescribed for your child or other drugs. For example:

  • Be happier – less likely to feel depressed
  • Better grades
  • Better chance of going to college

Be open to the reasons young people suggest. Once you’ve picked the three top reasons, have the young person write them down on the piece of paper.

Step 2

Pressure Points

Certain situations can make it very difficult for young people to avoid alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and other drugs. Discuss what types of situations may tempt young people to use alcohol or marijuana, or to misuse prescription drugs or other drugs. For example

  • Parties
  • Tough day at school
  • Boredom
  • Feelings of failure

Come up with the top four high pressure situations together, and have the young person write these down.

Step 3

Finding Alternatives

For each of the four pressure points, come up with two ways a young person can avoid these types of situations, or ways to relieve the pressure to use. For example:

  • Pressure Point: Parties where friends are using alcohol or drugs
    • Alternative 1:
      Agree to a curfew
    • Alternative 2:
      Go to a movie that night instead

Write down the two alternatives next to each of the pressure points.

Step 4

Your Action Plan

Congratulations, you just created an action plan. This is something a young person can keep in a wallet, purse, or backpack. For the next few weeks, try to go over the plan together. Young people can also go over the plan themselves each day, even for just a few minutes – like when brushing their teeth.

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