Not only is October known for being the “SCARIEST”🎃 month all year, where the goblins and the ghoulies come out at night to “steal” your candy… it is also known as National Bullying Prevention Month!
Concerning substance abuse, bullying (which also includes cyber-bullying) can be a risk factor for anyone, but especially youth. During a time where it seems vitally important to “fit in” and make friends while still developing as an adolescent, bullying can add a ton of stress on top of what is an already difficult time to navigate. As a consequence of bullying, youth may turn to substances like prescription drugs, vaping, or alcohol, especially if negative peer pressure is involved. Substance use could even potentially turn someone into a bully if they are using as a means of coping (albeit improperly) with other outside stressors.
So this month, let’s all do the work and take a stand against bullying! Help your kid(s) prepare to stand up to peer pressure by talking to them about bullying and the potential consequences of bullying. Be sure to discuss a course of action they should take if they are being bullied or see someone else being bullied. Help your child(ren) develop healthy and effective stress-coping practices! Encourage your local schools and educators to ensure they are creating a safe atmosphere for all students where there is zero tolerance for bullying. Ensure bullying policies are established; upheld; and communicated to teachers, students, staff, and parents!