Resources for Grandparents

The places where people live, work and go to school can greatly influence the health of community members.  Grandparents and senior citizens--working alongside youth, community coalitions, businesses and other leaders—can make their communities healthier by addressing substance use issues and advocating for strong prevention programs in their communities and schools. 

What Can Grandparents & Senior Citizens Do to Support Drug-Free Communities?

  • Get informed about the scope of the substance use problem in your community.

Are you familiar with how alcohol and other drug use effects local residents? 

Click below to see statistics for youth in your school district

 Click below to see statistics for adults in your region/community
…I need to get this link – was having a problem navigating the VDH system

Your local community coalition or Prevention Consultant can tell you more about the substance use issues in the community. Coalition Map

  • Support community efforts to prevent substance use and community activities that promote healthy behaviors – join your local community coalition or start one! Coalition Map
  • Find out how to better communicate with your teenage grandchild; learn about the latest drugs; and discover how you can keep your grandchild healthy. Grandparent's Guide 
  • Building Blocks for a Healthy Future is an early childhood substance abuse prevention program developed to educate parents and caregivers about the basics of prevention to promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Avoid binge drinking, use of illicit drugs, or the misuse of prescription medications and, as needed, seek help from their clinician for substance abuse disorders.
  • Safely store and properly dispose of prescription medications and not share prescription drugs with others.
  • Avoid driving if drinking alcohol or after taking any drug (illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter) that can alter their ability to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Refrain from supplying underage youth with alcohol and ensure that youth cannot access alcohol in their home.
  • Talk about your values, your priorities, and world issues that concern you. Emphasize why these things are important to you and how they influence your life.
  • Reach out to the children and youth in your family, whether they are your grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, or other relatives. Send letters and e-mail messages, visit, phone them, or invite them to your home. Let them know your door is open if they want or need you.
  • Introduce yourself to the children and youth who live near you. Learn their names and greet them when you see them.
  • Volunteer at a childcare center, school, or church activity for children and youth.
  • Become a “foster grandparent” for a family that doesn’t have grandparents or whose grandparents live far away.
  • If you had a special older person in your life when you were a child, think about the things that made that relationship special. Offer young people in your life some of those same gifts.

Begin talking with your grandchild today – starting at age 2 or 3 is not too young – many teens who use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana report their first use being when they were 11 or 12 years old.  Waiting until middle school to have “the talk” with some kids is way too late.  And keep talking with them well into their adulthood- the human brain and body is not fully developed until well into our twenties. 

Talking to your kids is a resource to help you talk to your grandkids about nicotine, alcohol and other drugs.

Kids are surrounded by pressures and influences. Make sure you are armed with the latest and most accurate info—so you can be the best influence possible. - See more at Parent Up VT

What To Say if You Were Once Addicted  Talking About Drugs