A World Health Organization report lists multiple factors contributing to drug addiction, such as genetics, poverty, peer influences, family history of drug abuse, personality disorders and suffering neglect/abuse as a child. An independent study found that children who later become drug addicts share three risk factors: Being raised in a dysfunctional family, having easy access to alcohol and drugs and peer influence. Authors of this study also state: “In families where there is warmth and love, children do not or rarely take drugs.”
Just as important to providing children with a stable, loving home environment is the critical need for parents to provide drug addiction education to young children and continue offering advice, insight and support throughout adolescence. Addiction prevention shouldn’t begin when a child is already experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Addiction prevention should begin as soon as a child is old enough to understand how and why drugs, alcohol and cigarettes are “bad’ for you.
Introducing Drug and Alcoholism Education to Young Children
Negative Consequences of Drug Addiction
Children look exclusively to their parents to teach them the difference between right and wrong behaviors. In addition to explaining why drugs are bad, parents should also describe in detail several negative consequences of using drugs, such as being in jail, being sick all the time and not having “real” friends. Parents may also start showing preteens and teenagers “before and after” pictures of drug addicts to emphasize the destructiveness of addiction.
Keep Up-to-Date About the Latest Addiction News
New “designer” drugs are constantly being introduced that tout their legality and similarity to marijuana. Especially attractive to teenagers who do not have easy access to heroin and meth are bath salts and spice (synthetic marijuana). Dangerous, addictive and sold by unscrupulous storeowners to kids as young as 10, designer drugs are advertised deceptively as “herbal” drugs and represent an even more dire need for parents to engage in addiction prevention education with their children.
Don’t Be Afraid to Randomly Drug Test Your Child
Drug addiction education not only involves long, hard discussions about drug abuse with your children, but also means remaining rigorously proactive in your child’s life. It is not mean or wrong to drug test your child if you suspect they are taking drugs. Drug-testing kits obtainable online or at full-service pharmacies detect the presence of marijuana, opiates, meth, cocaine and Ecstasy in your child’s urine.
If your child claims that testing them for drugs means you do not trust them, tell them that trust needs to be earned, and that their recent behavior has not earned your trust.
Don’t Nag About Drug Addiction
Providing ongoing drug addiction information is one thing, but nagging is another. Preventing your child from using drugs and alcohol also includes maintaining a warm, loving home environment where open discussions — not yelling and berating — are the norm. Stay involved in your child’s life by encouraging them to participate in school activities. Promote their self-esteem by praising their achievements. Take an active role in their life by being there whenever they need you.
Don’t force the issue of alcoholism education and drug addiction every day. Instead, bring up these subjects when the time feels right for such a sensitive dialogue. As an engaged parent, you’ll instinctively recognize when such moments arise.
Learn more about early drug prevention techniques and drug addiction education by contacting 12 Keys Rehab today.