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Families across the United States struggle with teen alcohol and drug abuse. If you have a child in your household that is showing the signs of use, you are not alone. In 2010, research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that by the 8th grade about 36% of teens had tried alcohol and by 12th grade it’s 71%. In terms of illegal drugs, about 21% reported using something by the 8th grade and 48% by the 12 th.

In a large survey of adolescent health, Colorado ranked in the top 10 for rates of illegal drug use in the past month among 12 year olds and 18 – 25 year olds. With the legalization of marijuana for adults in this state, many are anticipating these numbers to go up. Teens will have easier access to this drug through older friends, siblings and possibly even parents.

Parents in Colorado and across the country often wonder why their teen is exhibiting risk-taking behavior. The answer is found in recent scientific research that shows the brain doesn’t fully develop until the mid-twenties. In fact, the last part of the brain to develop in the pre-frontal cortex which controls one’s judgment and decision making abilities. Furthermore, the research also shows that teens start using illegal substances to improve their mood, reduce stress and due to peer pressure to gain popularity and acceptance among their age group.

So, if your child has been caught for a Minor In Possession offense, these are most likely the reasons why. Young adults in this predicament will be punished by the law with fines, community service work and the requirement to take an alcohol and drug awareness class. Legal systems across the nation have come to the realization that the additional educational portion of this mandate, forces kids to learn how and why the behavior is dangerous and unacceptable. For your own sanity, have your teen take an online MIP class to fulfill this requirement. They will be able to learn all about the short and long term effects of these substances to their mental and physical capabilities from the quiet, convenient and relaxed atmosphere of your own home. Classes are available in 8, 12, 16, 20 & 24 lengths.

The way it works is to first pick a high quality course that is designed by a currently practicing and licensed psychotherapist. Then get court approval that they will accept a distance learning or online class. Once you receive approval, simply go online and register with a credit card. The class becomes instantly available on the screen in front of you. Nothing needs to be downloaded or printed out so you can take it from any computer device in any WI-FI hotspot. Classes are divided by chapters. At the end of each chapter a short multiple-choice quiz is taken. Your child has complete freedom to go at her own pace and login and out as many times as it takes to get through the entire course. If she wants to complete it quickly, she can sit down and spend the entire weekend on it, or take it more slowly with a little each night. The program holds your last spot, but you can also go back to review information already covered. At the end of the class, the minor takes a multiple-choice final exam that needs to be passed with a 70% or better. This test can be re-taken if necessary. Upon successful completion, an official Certificate is sent out. This is the documentation that needs to be presented to the court to prove the requirement was fulfilled. Taking an online Minor In Possession class will be a highly educational experience for your adolescent and will make the parents life easier because of the convenience and ease.