Parent Drug Prevention Education and Resources

TEN WAYS TO HELP DRUG-PROOF YOUR CHILD

  1. Set a family standard on drug and alcohol use: Tell your children the rules early in grade school and repeat them often. Live by them yourself.
  2. Let kids know there are consequences and punishments for violating all family rules, like no car or TV. Make them clear and fair and enforce them.
  3. Set aside time every day to talk with your kids about their lives, how they feel, what they think. Listen and care.
  4. Help your children establish realistic personal goals in academics, athletics and social life. Then encourage and help them to achieve their goals.
  5. Know your children’s friends and spend time with them.
  6. Get excited about the things your kids care about. Do fun things as a family.
  7. Be aware. Find out the warning signs of drug abuse, from physical changes to hostility to loss of interest in school or hobbies, and watch for them.
  8. Talk with your children about the future. Discuss responsibilities – yours and theirs.
  9. Enjoy your kids. Make your home a happy, positive place.
  10. Be a nosy parent. Ask your children questions, know where they are and who they are with. Let your children know you are asking because you love them.

Signs that your child might be using drugs

Since mood swings and unpredictable behavior are frequent occurrences for preteens and teenagers, parents may find it difficult to spot signs of alcohol and drug abuse. But if your child starts to exhibit one or more of these signs (which apply equally to sons and daughters), drug abuse may be at the heart of the problem:

  • Withdrawn, depressed, tired, and careless about personal grooming.
  • Hostile and uncooperative.
  • Relationships with family members have deteriorated.
  • Hanging around with a new group of friends.
  • Grades have slipped, and school attendance is irregular.
  • Lost interest in hobbies, sports, and other favorite activities.
  • Eating or sleeping patterns have changed.
  • Hard time concentrating.
  • Eyes are red-rimmed and/or nose is runny in the absence of a cold.
  • Increased borrowing of money or household money has been disappearing.
  • Heightened secrecy about actions or possession.

Source: Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention

Acting on your suspicions

If you suspect that your child is using drugs, you should voice your suspicions openly – avoiding direct accusations – when he or she is sober or straight and you’re calm. This may mean waiting until the next day. Ask about what’s been going on – in school and out – and discuss how to avoid using drugs and alcohol in the future. If you encounter reluctance to talk, enlist the aid of your child’s school guidance counselor, family physician, or a local drug treatment referral and assessment center – they may get a better response. Also explore what could be going on in your child’s emotional or social life that might prompt drug use.

Taking the time to discuss the problem openly without turning away is an important first step on the road to recovery. It shows that your child’s well-being is crucial to you and that you still love him, although you hate what he’s doing to himself. But you should also show your love by being firm and enforcing whatever discipline your family has agreed upon for violating house rules. You should go over ways to regain the family’s trust such as calling in, spending evenings at home, and improving grades.
Source: Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention

Resources for Parents

PACT Prevention Coalition of St. Johns County http://www.pactprevention.org/

Emerging Trends – National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/emerging-trends

Synthetic Drugs – Office of National Drug Control Policy http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/synthetic-drugs-k2-spice-bath-salts

Growing Up Drug-Free – A Parent Guide to Prevention http://www.justice.gov/dea/pr/multimedia-library/publications/growing-up-drug-free.pdf

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids http://www.drugfree.org/

Underage Drinking Prevention http://beta.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking

Too Smart To Start http://toosmarttostart.samhsa.gov/families/default.aspx

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