Underage Drinking

Alcohol is poison to a teen brain.

Underage drinking can hinder proper brain development, damaging the good judgment area of the brain that controls urges and harming a person\’s memory ability. While the damage may not show up right away, underage drinkers may have a clear disadvantage when it comes to problem-solving, memorizing and other mental tasks later in life.

Parents are powerful.

Believe it or not, teens still listen to their parents. In fact, kids usually listen to their parents more than anybody else, including their friends. You are the number one reason your kids won’t drink. That’s a lot of influence.

Around puberty, most children naturally begin to push away from their parents. It is a normal part of development. However, as a result, many parents feel they’ve suddenly lost the ability to influence their teenagers. Well, great news: That is not true. While parents may feel their teens are tuning them out and are no longer listening to their advice, their teenage children are reporting just the opposite. So, as a parent, keep talking; keep trying. You do make a difference!

Just talking with your kids about staying alcohol-free when there are constant pressures and opportunities to drink is not enough. You must stay actively involved in your child’s daily activities—and it isn’t easy. Your life is busier than ever before, and making the extra effort to keep close tabs on your teenager seems difficult. However, staying involved really will make a powerful difference in keeping your child alcohol- and addiction-free.


Utah has an opioid problem. Deaths due to opioid drug misuse has reached epidemic levels and drug poisoning is currently the leading cause of deaths due to injuries for adults in the U.S. Drug poisoning deaths have outpaced deaths due to firearms, falls, and motor vehicle crashed in Utah. Too many Utahns are struggling in silence. It’s time to speak up and opt out of opioids.


An opioid is a drug commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids work by stimulating opioid receptors in the brain which reduce pain. They are used in hospitals and are sometimes prescribed by doctors to help treat more severe pain and discomfort. Have a conversation with your health care provider before taking opioids. It’s likely they simply aren’t worth the risk.

Some common opioids include:

  • Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin, Zohydro)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicodone)
  • Morphine (MSIR, MS Contin)
  • Codeine (Tylenol #3, Phenergan with codeine)
  • Fentanyl  (Duragesic, Actiq)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Tramadol (Ultram, ConZip)
  • Buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone, Butrans, Zubsolv)
  • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)


Opioids are strong. They’re also highly addictive. That’s why they should be used carefully. Sometimes they are prescribed even though a safer medication would work just as well. In many cases, there are much safer and effective alternatives to help manage pain. Talk to your doctor or dentist before taking opioids to see what’s right for you. It’s more than likely that they simply aren’t worth the risk. Avoid addiction. Ask for alternatives treatments.


Opioids are addictive. The longer you take opioids, the higher the risk for addiction. Prescription opioids are just as addictive as heroin. 80 percent of people who use heroin started with legal prescription opioids.


Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that lasts a lifetime. Treatment opportunities, while effective, are limited. In Utah, less than 10 percent of the people with substance use disorder receives treatment they need.


Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction. Opioids can be dangerous and even deadly when misused. Signs and symptoms can be physical, behavioral, and psychological. If you or someone else you know is struggling with opioids and shows these signs, get help now. These are some of the things to look for.

  • Taking higher doses or taking more frequently than prescribed
  • “Craving” just one more pill or refill
  • Running out of prescriptions too soon
  • Compulsively seeking and using opioids despite harmful consequences
  • Taking the opioid for its psychological effects or to feel high
  • Taking the opioid for reasons other than why it was prescribed
  • Continuously “losing” prescriptions and requesting replacements
  • Mixing pills and alcohol
  • Seeking prescriptions for more than one injury or with multiple doctors or pharmacists
  • Exhibiting abnormal behaviors, hostility, excessive mood swings or sudden personality changes
  • Withdrawing from friends, family or social activities
  • Losing appetite and extreme changes in weight
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Distracted, unable to focus, confused
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Poor decision making

GET HELP (2-1-1)

If you or someone you know shows several of the signs above, seek help. Dial 211. Utah has many treatment resources available for overcoming dependence and addiction to pain medications. Please contact your health insurance provider, dsamh.utah.gov, or call 2-1-1 for local services or treatment centers.

Learn more at https://useonlyasdirected.org/