The average age kids try drugs for the first time is 13.

For parents, this is a pivotal time in helping kids make positive choices when faced with drugs and alcohol. If your child is 13, says Amelia Arria, senior scientist with Treatment Research Institute, you should assume that he or she has been offered drugs or alcohol.  But you can help your teen stay healthy and drug-free — and beat the negative statistics about drug use among teens.

Kids who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use.

So, most importantly, stay involved.  Young teens may say they don't need your guidance, but they're much more open to it than they'll ever let on. Make sure you talk to them about their choices of friends — drug use in teens starts as a social behavior.

Drugs in your teen’s world can include:

Tobacco, Alcohol, prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Valium and Xanax, Inhalants, Marijuana, Ecstasy, Herbal Ecstasy, Cocaine/Crack, GHB, Heroin, Rohypnol, Ketamine, LSD, Mushrooms.

When it comes to drugs, teens are a savvy bunch. Drugs and messages about living drug-free have been part of their lives for years. They can make distinctions not only among different drugs and their effects, but also among trial, occasional use and addiction. They’ve witnessed many of their peers using drugs — some without obvious or immediate consequences, others whose drug use gets out of control. By the teen years, kids have also had to make plenty of choices of their own about drug use: whether they should give in to peer pressure and experiment with drugs, or go against some of their peers and stay clean.

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