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Alcohol and drugs: why parents should talk to their teenagers

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(Read caption) Walter Williams, director of the Memphis Area Prevention Coalition, sets up for a news conference inside Buster's Liqueurs and Wines in in Memphis, Tenn., in May. The news conference was aimed at keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.

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Bath salts, synthetic marijuana, Salvia. What’s next? As a parent, how do you even keep up with the new drug trends?

To keep pace you would probably need to spend a great deal of your time glued to your computer reading the internet. Just when you think you have all the information you need, there is a new drug that the kids see as all the rage.

Part of the problem with today’s drugs is certainly the misleading presentation. Synthetic marijuana, for example. The name itself implies it is not real marijuana, which may then suggest that it is not a real drug. How about bath salts? Who would ever believe that this product sold at the local head shop could be dangerous and/or addictive? Unfortunately, that is exactly what the distributors of these drugs want your kids to believe.

Just because their efforts to skirt regulation laws have been successful, however, does not mean they are safe. Recently, I'm happy to say, there have been attempts to make these cleverly packaged bath salts illegal. 

Then there’s alcohol. All teens drink, right? Wrong! As parents, it is easy to tell ourselves that a drink here and there is not so bad. Find a bottle of vodka hidden in her closet; maybe he had a water bottle cleverly filled with rum? No big deal. Well … maybe. Where do you draw the line?

Maybe you’re a parent who believes it is better for your teen to be partying at your home where you can keep an eye on him and his friends. Before you go ahead and give permission there are a few facts that you should know:

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