To get started, take a short drug-awareness quiz

Take a look at each of the statements below and try to decide if they are true or false. Click on True or False to reveal the answer.

Cannabis can be addictive.
Alcohol is a drug.
Nearly all teenagers use alcohol.
Talking to my child about drugs will encourage him or her to use drugs.
Alcohol and tobacco can be as harmful as other drugs.
Second-hand tobacco smoke can cause cancer.

Marijuana can be as addictive as any other drug. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, has a very powerful effect on the brain. This effect can trigger biochemical events that contribute to becoming addicted. People who use marijuana often feel like they need to use more and more to get the same effect.

Alcohol is a drug. Many people think it is not a drug because it is a legal substance in most countries around the world. However, it is one of the most accessible drugs available to youth, and using it can lead to harm to the user like all the other drugs.

Not all teens drink alcohol, but the majority do. And most of those who do will drink to excess and become intoxicated at some point. Alcohol remains one of the most abused substances for this age group, and parents need to think carefully about alcohol use and its consequences.

Telling children about drugs and consequences of drug-use lets them know you care about them and their future. Although schools provide these messages, your child benefits the most from hearing you talk to them. It tells them that they are loved, and that you care very much about them. Children expect to hear these messages from their parents, and parents need to repeat them often. It is of course important to consider when and how you talk to them about this sensitive topic.

Because alcohol and tobacco are so easy to get, teenagers use them more often. Both of these drugs make changes in the brain that may cause addiction, and have potential for major negative health effects. Whether an individual is addicted or not, use of either of these drugs may result in harm to the person.

Research shows that second-hand smoke can cause to cancer in adults, children and even pets. Second-hand smoke can also trigger asthma and ear infections in children. Smoking outside the home is usually not enough to prevent respiratory problems on those who are most sensitive. Clothes, hair and skin of the smokers bring residues of cigarettes inside the house, not preventing the problem entirely.