Parent Alert | November 2023 | Youth Internet Safety

Youth Internet Safety

The internet continues to be utilized more and more in our lives, and our reliance upon it has a major impact on youth. Internet usage is not a bad thing, and there are many positive aspects to it for youth including homework assistance, social connection with friends, and providing entertainment. However, there are many risks posed to youth when they go online that parents need to be aware of including:
  • Exposure to upsetting content
  • Contact with adults posing as children and scammers
  • Participating in or being victims of cyberbullying, sexting, and other problematic internet use
  • Inappropriate marketing and personal data collection
There are many negative impacts that internet usage can have on youth health and wellbeing including mental health concerns, emotional and relationship development, and negative impacts on youth identity, self-worth, and body image. It is important for parents to be prepared to navigate these challenges and know how they can help protect their children online. Here are some of the things you can do to promote online safety:
  • Have the conversation about internet risks and safe practices early.
  • Establish rules and clearly communicate them.
  • Monitor their usage while giving them space to be independent.
  • Build resilience and help them prepare for bad situations.
  • Emphasize the importance of being respectful to others and be a good role model.
Keeping youth protected from online risks can be difficult. You can help by following the guidelines you set and maintain an open dialogue when it comes to internet safety. Most websites and social media platforms have parent guides and settings that are specifically designed to provide safeguards for youth internet use. These resources can teach you more about what your children are interacting with, and can help you learn more about how those platforms function. Visit the links below to learn more about youth internet safety and how you can help.
Resources

Ohio Issue 2

Ohio became the 24th state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana this month. There has been a lot of discourse surrounding this new law, and most of it has focused on the recreational use portion. Recreational use is the main component to the law, but there are additional components that many people are not aware of. Here are the main pieces of Ohio’s new marijuana law:
  • Legalizes and regulates the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home growth, and use of cannabis by adults at least twenty-one years of age.
  • Establishes a Division of Cannabis Control within the Department of Commerce that will regulate, investigate, and penalize adult use cannabis operators, testing laboratories, and other individuals requiring a license.
  • Requires the Division of Cannabis Control to work with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on creating a program for cannabis addiction services.
  • Establishes the cannabis social equity and jobs program which will be partially funded by tax revenue from cannabis sales.
  • Prohibits certain local government agencies from limiting specific research, levying a tax, criminally charging legal use, or limiting legal use as specified in the bill.
  • Places a 10% sales tax on the sale of adult use cannabis by dispensaries.
Misinformation is already being spread about what these new regulations mean, and investigating the full verbiage of the law is important to avoid confusion and anxiety over the major changes that are coming. Please visit the links below to learn more about the law that was passed, and see the impact legalization has already had in other states.
Resources

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This publication is developed in part under grant number SP020543-10 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the Coalition and do not necessarily reflect those of ONDCP, SAMHSA, or HHS.

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