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HHS HealthBeat (January 8, 2013)

The drug-free kids tool

A father and son talk.

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Family Checkup

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Drug addiction often starts in the teen years, and research shows that parents are crucial in keeping their kids from starting on drugs. But parents may have some questions – notably, how to do it.

The National Institutes of Health has developed a Web tool called Family Checkup, to support them with some things that can work. The tool is based on five skills: good communication between parents and children, how to encourage positive behavior, ways to work together to solve problems, setting limits, and ensuring adequate supervision.

The NIH’s Gaya Dowling says the site includes some videos that parents could use:

“The videos are designed to really provide examples of how to interact with your teens – to give parents examples of how to really use the strategies.”

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 1, 2013