Check Yourself

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
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Teens share detailed stories of addiction and recovery.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Teens can learn the facts about drugs and alcohol, including how they're used, what they look like, and their short- and long-term effects. In addition to testing their knowledge with quizzes, teens can hear first-person accounts of abuse and addiction and play decision-making games that assess how they'd react to difficult situations. There are plenty of links to other resources for teens who are looking for more information or help. Check Yourself encourages teens to reflect on their feelings and make healthy decisions.

Positive Messages

The site doesn't rely on scare tactics to keep teens away from drugs. Teens' stories provide frank, realistic examples of how drug abuse can be destructive, and they illustrate the many different factors that can lead to drug abuse (such as depression, violence, and parental drug use).

Violence

Some teens' stories include descriptions of physical and sexual abuse and self-injury. One of the site's decision-making games has a narrative that ends in a sexual assault.

Sex

A few of the posts address sexual topics in the context of addiction stories, including how drug abuse can cause people to make bad decisions about sex.

Language

A few teens use profanity and sexual slang in their posts.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and drugs are the focus of the site. Many teens describe their experiences with drugs. Although these are cautionary tales, they do describe drug use in detail, including the highs they experienced.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational site created by the Partnership at Drugfree.org is aimed at older teens with the goal of preventing drug abuse. Teens share their stories of addiction and recovery, which often touch on heavy topics like sexual abuse and self-injury.

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What's it about?

CHECK YOURSELF provides a resource for older teens to reflect on their own relationships with drugs and alcohol through quizzes and decision-making games. There are videos and stories from people who've experienced abuse and addiction as well as factual information on different kinds of drugs. Users who register can talk to other teens on message boards.

Is it any good?

CHECK YOURSELF provides helpful resources and information, but it also goes beyond the facts to give teens an up-close look at the consequences of drug abuse and addiction. Teens' cautionary tales drive home the reality of addiction in a way that's more complex and credible than simple "Just Say No" campaigns. The stories are compelling, and the factual information is easy to understand.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Teens may wonder what the line is between use and abuse or addiction, especially when it comes to alcohol. How would you know if you had a problem? Where would you go for help?

  • Families can talk about finding a trustworthy site. How do you know where to go for accurate information? Why is it better to go to a reliable site than do a search and see what comes up?

Website details

For kids who love teen issues

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