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Mothers of Misfits
49: How to Protect Our Kids from Substance Abuse | Richard Capriola

49: How to Protect Our Kids from Substance Abuse | Richard Capriola

substance abuse Feb 02, 2021

Richard Capriola has been an addictions and mental health counselor for over two decades. He shares the warning signs, treatment approaches, and avoidance strategies for adolescent substance abuse.


  • “Roughly 55% of seniors are probably drinking.” – Richard Capriola
  • “Probably 35% of seniors say that they’re using marijuana and maybe 28% of juniors. So marijuana is a substance that is very high on the list of things that adolescents are using.” – Richard Capriola
  • “In just the last few years, we have seen a surge in adolescents turn to vaping substances like nicotine and marijuana.” – Richard Capriola
  • “Kinds are staying at home longer. They’re isolated away from their friends. They’re isolated away from their activites. So I think that creates more stress. More stress for them, more stress for the parents. And anytime we see an increase in stress or anxiety, I think that leads to the likelihood that kids might turn to a substance.” – Richard Capriola
  • “Availability is one of the other things that drives the access because kids believe and have found that it’s easy to get these substances.” – Richard Capriola
  • “Any type of changes that you see in your child, pay attention to. Some of them may be just normal developmental changes, but some of them may be an indication of an underlying issue.” – Richard Capriola
  • “We’re very good at listening to people’s words, we’re not so good at listening to the feelings behind the words.” – Richard Capriola
  • “The goal is we always want our kids to feel comfortable coming to us.” – Emily Melious
  • “We are a parent. Sometimes we’re an advisor to them. Sometimes we are a disciplinarian to them. But we want to develop, as best we can, an environment where they feel safe, where they feel trusted, and where they can come to us and share what is troubling them.” – Richard Capriola


  • 1:29 – Common substances adolescents are using
  • 3:23 – Why vaping?
  • 4:13 – How COVID-19 has impacted drug use
  • 5:06 – Getting access to substances
  • 6:41 – Legalizing marijuana
  • 8:57 – Why teen substance abuse is so dangerous for adolescents
  • 10:33 – Warning signs of addiction or substance abuse
  • 11:40 – Tips for effectively dealing with a potential issue without wrecking our relationships with our kids
  • 24:49 – How frequently is drug use connected to an underlying psychological condition?
  • 27:56 – What can parents do to foster an environment that reduces the probability of their child using drugs?
  • 31:23 – Resources for Parents


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