Monday, March 4, 2013

Preventing Teen Drug Use

As a parent, you can do absolutely everything possible to prevent your child from having a problem with drugs or alcohol, but you do not have absolute control. You are not omnipotent. But most (well, all) parents want to do everything humanly possible to help their child avoid entanglement with addiction. The Partnership at Drugfree.org has a listing of six research-verified ways that parents can reduce if not eliminate their child's vulnerability to addiction. These directives are simply common-sense, but they have substantial backing in the field as bulwarks against addiction. These recommendations are expanded upon at 6 Parenting Practices/Help Reduce the Chances Your Child Will Develop a Drug or Alcohol Problem
In summary, here they are;
1. Build a warm and supportive relationship with your child
2. Be a good role model when it comes to drinking, taking medicine, and handling stress
3. Know your child's risk level
4. Know your child's friends
5. Monitor, supervise, and set boundaries
6. Have ongoing conversations and provide information about drugs and alcohol.

I think it is enormously important for children and teenagers to have good examples of how one handles life's vagaries, including any use of intoxicants. If your child has an example of safe alcohol use, he or she will at least have a paradigm for how adults can use alcohol without coming to any harm. But if  you drink or drug to excess, not only will it be difficult to have the necessary conversation with your teenagers, but their model will already be hard-wired. And if you have an addiction problem yourself, you want your teenager to know that getting help has allowed you to lead a full and gratifying life!

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