Youth Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative Urges Ohio Parents to “Start Talking!”


Did you know that kids are up to 50% less likely to use drugs when their parents or other trusted adults talk with them about drug use and abuse? The challenge is to get the conversation going. 

In 2014, Oho Governor John Kasich and First Lady Karen Kasich launched Start Talking! a program to help parents and other adults communicate better with kids about drug use.

The Start Talking! initiative not only gives parents tips to start the conversation, but the knowledge and the confidence to speak with their kids about the dangers of substance abuse.
Based on research and what experts say are the best methods to engage kids, Start Talking! offers ways for parents and other youth leaders to approach children and young adults:

  • Know! – This program focuses on middle school students.  Know! provides communication tips and tools to parents and caregivers, to empower them to raise their children substance-free. Know! also provides resources for educators and other adults to help reinforce the efforts of parents.  Know! is offered by the Ohio Drug Free Action Alliance. Click here and/or on the image below to sign up for KNOW! Parent Tips.
  • Parents360 Rx – This program focuses on adults and is community-based.  It is designed to increase adults’ knowledge about substance abuse, particularly prescription drug abuse. More knowledgeable parents and adults have greater confidence and are better equipped to talk with children about drug use. The Parents360 Rx Action Toolkit can be used to host youth drug prevention discussions in local communities.  Parents360Rx is a national program developed by the Partnership at
  • 5 Minutes for Life – This program focuses on high school students.  Led by the Ohio Highway Patrol, the Ohio National Guard and local law enforcement in partnership with the Ohio High School Athletic Association and participating high schools, 5 Minutes for Life engages student athletes as ambassadors who lead peer-to-peer conversations that promote healthy, drug-free lifestyles.
  • Building Youth Resiliency – This program starts community partnerships to build a local effort, using proven prevention programs, to give students the courage to resist drugs and push back on peer pressure. The Office of Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich, in partnership with other state agencies, is leading this effort. 

The starting place for teaching children about the dangers of drugs is at home.  And the first teachers are parents.  Start Talking! is here to help because they know this isn’t an easy discussion with your kids.

Learn more about Start Talking! at