Video: Back-to-School 2018-19

HC DrugFree would like to thank the Howard County Public School System, the PTA Council of Howard County and the many PTSAs/PTAs for partnering with us to share our videos and educational messages about vaping, fentanyl, HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council, medication storage/disposal and more. 

Video: Back-to-School 2017-18

HC DrugFree, in partnership with the Howard County Public School System, would like parents to be aware of the current opioid epidemic impacting Howard County. Opioids are legally prescribed pain medications as well as illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. Both fatal and nonfatal overdoses are on the rise in Howard County. In this video being shared with parents at Howard County Public School System's back-to-school nights, HC DrugFree's Executive Director, Joan Webb Scornaienchi provides useful tips and information parents can use to keep families safe throughout the year. Thank you to the Howard County Public School System for partnering with HC DrugFree to distribute this message. 

Questions to Ask Your Doctors/Dentists

Click here for a list of questions to ask your doctor from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Click here for a list of questions to ask your doctor from Harvard Medical School.


Programs & Outreach

Educational programs designed with parents and youth in mind are scheduled throughout the school year. Topics include drinking and driving, prom and graduation safety, senior week in Ocean City, tips for parents on raising teens, and other subject matter related to alcohol and drug abuse.

HC DrugFree also hosts fundraisers and special events throughout the year. Funds raised go towards programs and events that empower the community to raise drug-free youth. Find out about upcoming programs, fundraisers and special events.

It's Never Too Early

Parents- talk to your kids about alcohol. For advice and tips about discussing underage drinking, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) website at

Parent and Student Substance-Free Pledge Forms

Download a copy of HC DrugFree's Parent/Student Pledge or our HC DrugFree's Parent/Student Pledge Template to begin the discussion with your student. 

Helpful Information for Parents

Do you speak teen?

Many parents don’t believe there is a generation disconnect between them and their teen. Take a look at these alarming numbers and what parents can do to help their kids stay drug-free (PDF).

OTC safety: childproofing your home and medicine cabinet

Get helpful tips and information about over-the-counter medicine safety. 

Surviving the Teenage Years

Download a copy of "Surviving the Teenage Years" (PDF) to get information and tips for parents developed collaboratively by the PTA Council of Howard County and HC DrugFree in 2010-2011.

Temperament can help your teen stay drug & alcohol free

Shed light on your teen's temperament and why he or she may take drugs, drink alcohol or overeat (PDF).

CNN Heroes

Research shows that what you say to your teens about drinking and driving matters. Read stories about teens and parents taking a stand against drunk driving.

Twelve Tips for Parents

Read the 12 tips for parents to help their teens avoid alcohol and other drugs (PDF).

Resources & Support for Parents

Have a question or need information? Has your child started to drink, smoke or use other drugs? Trying to figure out what to do next? Looking for drug treatment or counseling for your child? HC DrugFree has compiled the list resources below, which have been suggested by others and may or may not have been read/viewed/heard by members of HC DrugFree staff. If you have an appropriate resource that you would like to share, please email us the information at

In addition, you can find important phone numbers and information about student assistant programs on our facts & resources page.

"Marijuana: What's a Parent to Believe? "(Timmen L. Cermak, MD, 2003)
This has a wealth of information for both prevention and intervention purposes. It answers questions such as "What attracts teens to marijuana? How should parents react if they find evidence of drug use? What impact does THC have on the brain? Is marijuana addictive? How do we know if our teen is addicted to marijuana? What treatment options are available? And much more.

"What's Wrong With My Kid? When Drugs or Alcohol Might Be a Problem and What to Do About It "(George E. Leary, Jr., M.A., 2012)
This book is a must for any parent who suspects or knows their child is using drugs. Included are behavioral and environmental warning signs, how to intervene, if and when to initiate drug treatment, a detailed comparison of several treatment options and how to determine the best one for your child.

"How to Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk" (Adele Faber and Elain Mazlish)
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish transformed parenting with their breakthrough, bestselling books "Siblings Without Rivalry" and "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk." Now they return with this essential guide that tackles the tough issues teens and parents face today. Filled with straightforward advice and written in their trademark, down-to-earth style sure to appeal to both parents and teens, this all-new volume offers both innovative, easy-to-implement suggestions and proven techniques to build the foundation for lasting relationships. From curfews and cliques to sex and drugs, it gives parents the tools to help their children safely navigate the often stormy years of adolescence.

"Getting to Calm" (Laura S. Kastner, PhD., Jennifer Wyatt, PhD.)
Cool headed strategies for parenting tweens and teens. Getting to Calm is a practical, realistic and ultimately reassuring guide to navigating one of the most challenging aspects of parenting today: staying calm and clear-headed during some of the most common hot-button situations that arise during the teen years.

"Parenting Teens With Love & Logic" (Foster Cline and Jim Fay)
Our changing times require new approaches to parenting teens. Parenting experts Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D., help you address the pressing subjects faced by today’s teens like:

  • Drugs, alcohol, smoking, and sex   
  • Peer pressure   
  • What happens if they break the law and who pays bail   
  • Violence in school and on the street   
  • Give them the tools to face the choices of today’s world

"Choices & Consequences" (Dick Schaefer)
"Of all the books I've read on the subject of teenagers and drug/alcohol abuse, this is by far the best. The authors clearly spell out exactly why you're right to be worried and how to help. They explain how to conduct an "intervention" to cut through the teen's denial that drugs/alcohol is a problem for her or him. By presenting treatment options and contracts as her or his "choices," parents and others can also give up the sense of fear that leads to ineffectual efforts to control someone else's drinking or drug use. Once you let go and realize that--just as the teen you care about has a choice (including using)--you have a choice to impose consequences that range from mild to severe. The book is oddly reassuring and direct. A must-read for any parent or friend of a substance using teen."

Review this list of books for teens and parents on drug abuse (PDF).

National Institute on Drug Abuse
The Partnership at
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Empowering Parents: Child Behavor Help
Office of Adolescent Health
The Century Council