Addiction is Real

Addiction is Real, Inc. (AIR) was formed in July 2015. Our grass-roots non-profit exists to educate parents on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and provide them with the prevention tactics needed to guide their children through this very difficult terrain. Research shows that teens whose caregivers talk to them early and often about the dangers of drug use are up to 50% less likely to try drugs.

AIR works to educate and empower parents through the following program activities:
• Teaching parents the importance of talking with their kids early and often about the dangers of substance use.
• Providing parents with age-appropriate topics of conversation regarding substance use and giving real-life examples of what these conversations should look like for kids in preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school.
• Educating parents on how the teenage brain develops and why this is important when it comes to executive function, impulse control and judgment, as well as how the developing brain affected by early substance use and addiction.
• Setting up an interactive teenage bedroom exhibit named “Hidden in Plain View,” where parents are given the opportunity to “search” the room and test their ability to recognize over 70 items that might signal the teen is involved in risky activities/substance use.
• Giving parents the opportunity to join our “PAIRENT PACT” – an initiative where parents sign a contract with a variety of stipulations that help provide a safe environment for kids (i.e. do not provide alcohol to minors, lock up all alcohol/prescription medicine, dispose of unused prescriptions, check on teens in the home at least once per hour). In return for signing, we mail parents a sticker to put on their back windshield, letting others know that they are a part of the pact and adhere to it’s rules.

The St. Louis region has seen an explosion of heroin and opioid pain medication misuse in teens over the last 5 years. This epidemic is continues to grow, with 2017 seeing the highest number of deaths to-date in the St. Louis area (St. Louis Public Radio). In this context, it is crucial that parents and caregivers understand what red flags to recognize so they can intervene early in a teen’s drug use. AIR is committed to equipping parents with this information and also helping families understand the science of addiction as a means of minimizing the stigma too often associated with this disease.

To learn more about the services of Addiction is Real visit