TEN WAYS TO HELP DRUG-PROOF YOUR CHILD
- 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.
- 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.
- Set aside time every day to talk with your kids about their lives, how they feel, what they think. Listen and care.
- Help your children establish realistic personal goals in academics, athletics and social life. Then encourage and help them to achieve their goals.
- Know your children’s friends and spend time with them.
- Get excited about the things your kids care about. Do fun things as a family.
- 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.
- Talk with your children about the future. Discuss responsibilities – yours and theirs.
- Enjoy your kids. Make your home a happy, positive place.
- 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- Withdrawn, depressed, tired, and careless about personal grooming.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
Resources for Parents
Emerging Trends – National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/emerging-trends
Understanding Drug Use and Addition – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction
Growing Up Drug-Free – A Parent Guide to Prevention https://www.dea.gov/documents/2017/04/27/growing-drug-free-parents-guide-prevention-2017
Parent Resources from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking/parent-resources
Talking to Your Child About Drugs – http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html#