Substance Free SDIRC


Talking about health and wellness means talking about substances.
Human brains don’t stop developing until our mid-20s, and substances like alcohol and other drugs can have major effects on our youth’s ability to learn, remember, problem-solve, and make good decisions. Avoiding the use of substances is not just about teaching kids to say no, it’s about helping them to understand why they should say no. In addition to teaching youth the “why” behind saying no to substances, we must help them develop health relationships and coping skills.

SDIRC is proud to partner with Substance Awareness Center (SAC) of Indian River County to deliver evidence-based prevention programming to our students. Prevention of mental health and substance use disorders is essential for all adolescents. The evidence based prevention programs utilized focus on skill building, increasing knowledge, and changing health risk attitudes and behaviors. The programs are delivered to students in 6th-9th grade. To learn more about our prevention programs, please visit or email Jill Amos, Clinical Director, at [email protected].

The Importance of Parents:

Parents are the first and best line of defense when it comes to preventing substance abuse. Check out this app to learn more about how you can speak with your child about alcohol and other drugs: SAMHSA:  Talk. They Hear You Application 

Read more about the importance of speaking with your children about drugs and alcohol from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Why You Should Talk with Your Child About Alcohol and Other Drugs

Your children, even your teens, listen to you! Start having conversations early and often: Talk. They Hear You. Keeping Our Kids Safe PSA-60 Video on YouTube

Talking About Vaping:

There are lots of misconceptions among youth and adults regarding e-cigarettes and vaping. Use the links below to learn more about vaping and how to speak with your child about these issues.

Watch this video to learn what vaping is, what vaping looks like, and what the dangers are.


American Lung Association: How to Talk to Your Kids About Vaping

Know the Risks: Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for Parents

CDC: quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults

Talking About Alcohol:

Review the resources on the page linked below to learn more about how to prepare for tough questions about alcohol and alcohol use and identify signs that your child might be drinking.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 5 Conversation Goals

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Underage Drinking Prevention 

Talking About Marijuana:

Teens use substances like marijuana for a number of reasons, including to try to cope with stressors and other mental health related issues. Having courageous conversations about drugs and alcohol will let your child know that they can really talk to you when they need to. Use the information in the link below to learn more about the risks associated with marijuana use to help guide your conversations:

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Talking to your Kids: Communicating the Risks

Local Resources:

Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County
Substance Abuse Free Indian River County
Tobacco Free Partnership Indian River
Drug Abuse Treatment Association