Drug Abuse Prevention, Communications & Information – The Keys to Helping Your Kids &Your Friends

You can prevent someone near you from getting hooked on drugs or stopping an addiction with not a lot of effort and talent. Start with honing your communication skills. Decide to get into a conversation about the dire effects upon the mind and body with the person you love or know has a problem.

But how to do it?

First, consider what NOT to do: Do not overload him or her with too many statistics or with a preacher-like lecture. There is an old saying that “A mind that ‘s changed against its will is of the same opinion still.” There’s a lot of truth in that bit of wisdom. Rather start any conversation establishing agreement (on any subject). Establish agreement so that the person feels comfortable with you in the conversation rather than being on the defensive because of the overload of information being shoved at him or her in a too-long lecture. A lecture is not a real communication.

A real communication is a two-way street in which information is both sent out, received with understanding, and then completed with an answer that deals with the subject at hand.

Also, any real communication is done by keeping a “low gradient” on the subject. In other words, start with a subject, such as the weather, sports, or another area of common interest in which agreement can be sought easily with no disagreement whatsoever. Instead of hammering a person with a ton of statistics about how bad drugs are, how much drug abuse is associated with crime, violence, unhappiness, etc., etc., etc., statistic, statistic, statistic, just keep the message easy to understand and with a minimum of emotion. You will know when you are successful at communicating when the two-way conversation is comfortable between the two of you. With a youngster, that may take awhile and might take several conversations spread over days or weeks.

When your youngster or other friend is comfortable talking to you about the dangers of street-drug abuse, you wil find that you need reference materials that are easy to read and understand. They, in effect, are third party influences that do not come from “mom and dad.” Instead, the youngster is more willing to accept the “third party” authority of the booklets that you can give them. (After all, what do mom and dad or grandpa and grandma know about anything anyway?)

Also, know that your children looks up to you more than you realize, even though they would never admit it.

Concurrently, they also face peer pressure so intense that you have to do something positive to offset it. You can also use the booklets to role-play situations in which your child is confronted by an overbearing drug-pusher. When your child stops the pusher in his tracks with a resounding “no,” you will have succeeded even though you were never told what happened.

Want to learn more about parental drug prevention communication? Go to my website: [http://waragainstdrugs.org], and open it now.

There are two great booklets offered. One is titled, “10 Things Your Friends May Not Know About Drugs.” The other is “How to Talk to Children About Drugs.”

Child Drug Abuse Prevention Tips For Parents – 7 Ways to Help Promote Your Child’s Safety

Having an open caring relationship with an adult role model is a critical piece of preventing drug abuse in children.

Parents and primary care givers have a critical role in preventing children’s in involvement with drugs and alcohol. It is a virtual dead certainty that your child will come in contact with drugs and alcohol sooner rather than later. How they handle it can be largely determined by parental involvement and preparation. Please do not ignore this problem and hope it will simply go away. Here is why.

Some facts on child drug use. (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

o The single leading cause of death among youth is driving under the influence.

o The second leading cause is suicide. Drugs are present 60% of the time.

o The average age of first use of alcohol is 11 years old.

o Of children who use alcohol or drugs before age 15, 40% are later classified with an addiction.

No parent wants to see their child involved with drugs. The likelihood of a child associating with drug-using friends is reduced by a close relationship with their parents There are some specific steps you can take to help your child be properly prepared to meet the challenge of drugs and alcohol. Here they are:

1. Give clear messages and expectations that using drugs is not OK. Don’t assume your child knows your views, state them and make them clear as a bell.

2. Be a good, active listener. Be alert to both spoken and implied messages when you or your child is speaking about drugs. Have discussions not arguments.

3. Help with your child deal with peer pressure to use drugs. Review possible scenarios or listen to what has happened. Work out the possibilities both the pros and the cons of the situation as well as expected or potential outcomes. Help to plan appropriate actions and empower your child to act.

4. Get familiar with your child’s friends and parents. Meeting your children’s friends will give you a sense of their personalities, what they are “into”,” and their family situations. Don’t be too quick to judge a child’s friends, though. Radical styles and unconventional appearances may be nothing more than a badge of identity.

5. Know your child’s whereabouts. Children who had the least amount of monitoring or ‘latchkey’ kids are at greater risk of drug use and at earlier ages. Check up on your child’s whereabouts.

6. Supervise activities. Unsupervised parties or activities are an open invitation to drug use.

7. Have open, honest and sincere conversations with your child about using drugs and alcohol and the consequences.

These tips are just the tip of the iceberg on proactive steps you can take as parents in protecting and preparing your child for exposure to drugs and alcohol use. More information and resources are freely available.