Adult Life

Whether you don’t have kids yet, aren’t planning on having children, or your kids are out of the home, here’s what you need to know to keep kids in your family, neighborhood, and community safe.



+ Know Yourself

If you use substances, medically or recreationally, know the possible effects of all substances – alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, medication, and street drugs.

Get the facts and practice responsible use. Be aware of the potential for pregnancy and risks when using substances and plan accordingly.

+ Being a caregiver

If you are a caregiver for someone else's child, or are considering being a caregiver, make sure that:

  1. You are supervising the kid(s) in a safe environment
  2. You are not supervising the kid(s) while intoxicated
  3. You have open and honest communication with the parents about the activites and environment of your care
  4. You are prepared to answer caregiver questions from parents

+ Information & Resources

Call 1-800-CHILDREN (244-5373) or 1-866-LAS-FAMILIAS (527-3264) for free, confidential help finding drug treatment, parenting support, medical care, social and family service agencies, and many other resources. Learn more.

Related Topics


Substance Use & Adulthood

Click a substance to learn more.


For healthy adults in general, drinking more than these single-day or weekly limits is considered "at-risk" or "heavy" drinking:

Men - More than 4 drinks on any day or 14 per week

Women - More than 3 drinks on any day or 7 per week

About 1 in 4 people who exceed these limits has an alcohol use disorder, and the rest are at greater risk for developing these and other problems.

Individual risks vary. People can have problems drinking less than these amounts, particularly if they drink too quickly. It makes a difference both how much you drink on any day and how often you have a "heavy drinking day," that is, more than 4 drinks on any day for men or more than 3 drinks for women.


Even light or intermittent cigarette smoking (smoking only 5 days per month or 1 to 4 cigarettes per day) poses health risks such as shortness of breath, coughing, or even cancer or heart disease. The more you smoke the greater the risks.


Marijuana use in Colorado is legal for adults age 21 and older.

A Cannabis Use Disorder is indicated by a problematic pattern of marijuana use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress manifested by at least two of the criteria for a substance use disorder. For example: 1) recurrent use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home; 2) continued use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by marijuana 3) tolerance; or 4) withdrawal


Street Drugs

Any use or experimentation of street drugs is dangerous. Be aware of the risks and seek help.

Substance use disorders, are defined as mild, moderate, or severe to indicate the level of severity, which is determined by the number of diagnostic criteria met by an individual. Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of substance use disorder is based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria.

Household Chemicals

Any use of household chemicals to get high can change the way the brain works and cause other problems in the body.


Any use of prescription or over the counter medication for non-medical purposes is a concern. It is also risky to take any prescription drugs not prescribed to you or for a purpose for which they were not prescribed.