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Responsibility.org Releases New Education Module Focused on Preventing Underage Cannabis Use

ARLINGTON, VAResponsibility.org has launched a new digital module as part of their longstanding underage drinking prevention program, Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix focusing on the effects of cannabis on the developing brain. This module comes after the success of Responsibility.org’s Ask, Listen, Learn program and delivers on a promise to parents and educators nationwide after requests for resources on how to talk to their kids about cannabis.

“Kids don’t grow up in a vacuum—they don’t ask questions about alcohol one day and cannabis the next. It was imperative that we were ready to help educators and parents answer the questions that their kids will inevitably have about both of these substances. The timing of this new module is fortuitous, as it coincides with the majority of kids learning virtually at home, creating even more opportunities to start conversations about ways to say “no,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO, Responsibility.org. “As leaders in the prevention space, our community looks to us to provide them with information and education on topics such as the dangers of underage cannabis use. This new module—in addition to the rest of the Ask, Listen, Learn resources—gives educators and parents the knowledge and skills they need to guide kids in making healthy decisions to keep them substance-free.”

The module includes a two-minute video with information on the developing brain, how the brain and body process cannabis and how developing brains and bodies of underage users react and are affected by it. The video is accompanied by a lesson plan and activities for educators to implement in their classrooms (either virtual or in-person) and resources for parents to initiate these conversations at home.

“Kids are influenced by so many of their surroundings—friends, teachers, celebrities, pop culture—but parents are still the leading influence on their kids’ decisions to drink - or not to drink - alcohol. While kids spend more time at home and participate in virtual learning this year, it is important for parents and educators to have the right resources to be well-informed about alcohol and cannabis so they can feel confident in starting conversations with their kids about the dangers of these substances for youth,” said Brian Coleman, 2019 School Counselor of the Year and Counseling Department Chair at Jones College Prep in Chicago. “I feel that far too often, we underestimate our children's abilities to pick up on the world around them. They are always watching and seeing and processing. So then if they're seeing it, it's time to have that conversation. These resources will help parents do just that.”

The video and lesson plan about the effects of cannabis work alongside the suite of underage drinking prevention resources and are accompanied by the following:

  • A primer to introduce educators to the topic of underage cannabis use
  • Additional educational materials including vocabulary cards and a classroom activity
  • A letter for parents from the classroom educator to better understand the course materials
  • Two videos for parents that address the importance of talking to kids about preventing underage cannabis use

Responsibility.org remains dedicated to the prevention and elimination of underage drinking, encouraging educators and caregivers to teach kids to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking. Program content regarding the effects of alcohol on the developing brain used in Ask, Listen, Learn has been reviewed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and is consistent with currently available science. All of the resources are available online at no cost at www.AskListenLearn.org.

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About Responsibility.org’s Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program:
Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix is the most widely-distributed underage drinking prevention program of its kind. Developed and distributed by Responsibility.org, and recognizing more than a decade of success, the program has innovative, science and evidence-based digital resources for teachers, counselors, school nurses and other educators that teach kids about what the developing brain does, what alcohol does to it, and what THAT does to them. The program also includes resources for parents, such as conversation starters and tips, to help kids say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking.

Ask, Listen, Learn features a seven-part animation series with corresponding lesson plans that align with National Health Education, Common Core State, and Next Generation Science Standards, to ensure synergy with curriculum teachers already have in place in the classrooms. This alignment also ensures that the resources can be used in multiple education settings, such as science and health classes. Program content regarding the effects of alcohol on the developing brain was reviewed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and is consistent with currently available science. For more information, visit AskListenLearn.org.

About Responsibility.org

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empowers adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; and Pernod Ricard USA. For nearly 30 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit Responsibility.org.

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