West Michigan youth are using alcohol at age 12.
Who is TalkSooner?
TalkSooner started in 2007 as a collaboration between the West Michigan counties of Allegan, Berrien, Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa and coordinated by Lakeshore Coordinating Council (now known as Lakeshore Regional Entity). Using federal funds, the coalitions in each county examined data and conducted focus groups. They learned that as everyone knows, youth substance abuse is an issue. They also determined that most parents don't feel prepared to have conversations with their children about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. This information shaped the scope and direction of the TalkSooner brand. Over time TalkSooner has expanded into much of the state of Michigan.
Our "core" TalkSooner team represents the Lakeshore Regional Entity #3 (LRE) and includes Allegan, Kent, Lake, Mason, Muskegon Oceana, and Ottawa counties. Under the guidance of the LRE and with federal funding, we have been able to reach families through awareness campaigns (billboards, commercials, social advertising) and developing tools that can be accessed by any concerned person via social media, the TalkSooner website, and the app. Our work now represents a majority of Michigan counties through partnerships with community coalitions and we anticipate continued growth in the coming years.
TalkSooner Makes Difficult Conversations Easier.
We are a resource for parents to access information about substance use prevention.
Our mission is to help parents inform youth about the dangers of substance use. Believe it or not, focus group data suggests that youth do indeed seek information and guidance from parents and other adults, so it is important that parents have these difficult conversations.
They may roll their eyes, but they will open their ears.
TalkSooner is the product of multiple county coalitions in Michigan, working together to send out a common message to parents of youth ages 10-18 about alcohol, tobacco, and other substances. We believe that accurate information is critical to help parents and youth make healthy choices around substance use. The goal of TalkSooner is to delay the onset of substance use through encouraging positive, honest conversations with youth that are centered on factual information.
We provide a variety of resources to make the conversation easier: drug facts, trends and information, signs to watch for if there are concerns about youth use, and tips for how to talk to youth about this complicated topic. TalkSooner does not endorse the use of scare tactics, and instead wants to help parents feel empowered to have conversations and set appropriate expectations with their children.
Parents can find our resources in multiple ways including: social media, Android and Apple apps, a website, billboard campaigns, and more.
You Can Do More Than Talk, You Can Take Action!
How can you make a difference in substance abuse related legislation? Educate, Engage and Empower (.PDF) yourself to make a difference!
How can you find your local House of Representatives member? Search by zipcode.
How can you find your State Senator? Search by zipcode.
TalkSooner in the News
TalkSooner provides free online resources to assist parents with the "drug talk"
February 16, 2021
TalkSooner.org helps you talk with your kids about drug use.
August 3, 2020
Opioid overdoses, in Michigan, surge during COVID-19 pandemic
July 30, 2020
New data from the state of Michigan show opioid use has surged with the COVID-19 pandemic. The statistics released through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services indicate the number of opioid overdoses jumped 33% between April and May.View Video
March 8, 2020
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