Posters at MDOT rest areas and Welcome Centers encourage Drug Prevention Discussions.

Many families will be on the road this weekend for one last trip before the end of summer and all that time in the car could give parents an opportunity to talk to their kids about an important topic.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is assisting TalkSooner.org, a Michigan-based parent resource for youth substance use prevention, as they encourage families to have important ”drug talk” conversations with their kids or teens during the Labor Day weekend and afterward.

Beginning Sept. 1, posters from TalkSooner will be posted at some of MDOT’s 77 rest areas and Welcome Centers around the state, encouraging parents and caregivers to spend time during their travels to engage in conversations about drug use prevention. The posters direct people to free online resources (an app and a website translatable into Spanish) featuring parent talking tips geared toward youths of all ages and stages of development, conversation starters, drug trend information, and more.

This effort comes as vaping and edible marijuana consumption are increasing, according to Stephanie VanDerKooi, chief operating officer for the Lakeshore Regional Entity, which developed TalkSooner.org.

”Family road trips offer the perfect time to check in with your kids, get their perspective on drugs and alcohol, and share your values for guiding healthy choices,” VanDerKooi said. ”TalkSooner provides tips to help navigate these often difficult but important conversations, and we applaud MDOT for supporting this opportunity to educate and inspire parents.”

MDOT rest areas and Welcome Centers serve as convenient venues for parents or caregivers to download the free Talksooner app or visit the website during their travel breaks, gleaning tips and talking points that can be put into use immediately.

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