As parents get their kids ready to go back to school, a local coalition is touring to give parents some high-tech help in talking to their kids about the dangers of drug and alcohol before those kids return to class.

“TalkSooner” is a free app and website tool that encourages parents to talk with their children about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. TalkSooner is developed and supported by the Lakeshore Regional Entity, which is made up of multiple county health coalitions, and has been endorsed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

This summer the TalkSooner team is touring West Michigan in the TalkSooner vehicle and stopping at more than 20 events to engage and interact with thousands of families and to share helpful information.

Both the app and the website explain the need to Talk Early, Talk Often, and Talk Sooner to children about pressures, health effects, expectations, and refusal skills around drugs and alcohol. The website is available in both English and Spanish and provides tips and talking points for the most important conversation at different age ranges.

“Research shows the more parents are involved in their kids’ lives, the more likely kids are to not use drugs and alcohol, “says Vicki Kavanaugh, Pathways Youth Development Coordinator. “It’s important for parents to start the conversation about drugs and alcohol and TalkSooner helps them do that,” she added.

The TalkSooner app is available through both the App Store and the Google Play store. Parents can also find helpful information on how to talk to their kids at

Make sure you check out the TalkSooner Facebook page. People who like it, download the app and post a picture of it on the TalkSooner page will receive a prize from TalkSooner.

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