Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a coach, a youth serving professional, or any adult who cares about a young person, it is good to have resources for understanding how to approach the topic of substance use with youth.

Good news! There are a number of helpful websites.

Below we have provided a few that we know of that can help with general communication in this area as well as substance specific tips for each of our target areas (alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug misuse).

Starting the conversation:

One of the best ways to help kids avoid issues with alcohol and drugs is to talk with them. While it’s never too early to start talking with kids about this topic, the types of conversations you’re having will change as your child grows. Get some helpful information on starting and continuing these important conversations with your kids…

For more information, community resources and toolkits, visit:


Understanding the legality of Marijuana

Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can use it or you can use it anywhere you want. Be informed about the laws around consumption so that you can help youth understand how to make good choices and what the possible consequences are of underage marijuana consumption.

While we still have a lot to learn about the physical, emotional and mental consequences of underage retail marijuana use, we already know enough to know that it can be dangerous. It's important for you to learn some of the negative health impacts so that you can help young people understand some of the risks they could be taking by using marijuana. Learn more about how using marijuana can affect athletic performance, learning, memory, judgement and your potential for reaching goals.
Help youth understand the health and long-term effects of marijuana. The more you know, the better the conversation will be!

For more information about marijuana laws, health effect, and prevention, visit:

Prescription Drugs

The abuse of prescription medications is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, particularly among teens. Nearly 224,000 Coloradans misuse prescription drugs each year, and 1-in-6 of 12th graders in the state report having taken a prescription medication that was not prescribed for them.

Safe use and storage:

Understand how to read prescriptions and understand how to identify different types of medication. When used as prescribed, medications can be helpful and healthy to use for a variety of purposes. If you or members of your household take medication and there are youth living with you, make sure you are aware of safe storage practices, which may involve putting medications in a secure and locked placeFor more information on these areas as well as warning signs, resources, and more visit the following site: 

Safe disposal:

Unused and expired medications should be properly disposed of as soon as possible. There are safe disposal sites around your city as well as home disposal kits that you can buy. Learn what safe disposal means!

For more information on these areas as well as warning signs, resources, and more visit: 


Alcohol is still the most common substance used by young people in Colorado and the United States. Many of the same consequences and regulation suggestions for marijuana and prescription drug misuse are relevant for alcohol as well.

For 10 prevention tips and more resources on the effects of drug and alcohol addiction on youth in general, visit:


You must be over 21

In order to purchase, possess or use retail marijuana in Colorado, you must have a valid ID proving you’re 21 or  older.  It’s that simple.