Abuse Prevention Starts With Parents
Although children this age are
unlikely to be using illicit drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, exposure
could be occurring at home. This brochure highlights the connection
between parent behavior and attitudes, media influences, parent/child
communication, and teens' subsequent use or abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Because families may have a prior history of drug use or know a friend
or relative with an alcohol or drug problem, this can be a very sensitive
topic to discuss. Many parents may feel uncertain about how to deliver
straightforward anti-drug messages to their children. The prominent
themes of this brochure are as follows:
The brochure describes ways that parents can
provide more opportunities to talk with their children. For example,
parents can discuss situations involving alcohol and drugs in popular
movies and TV, which can be an easy and natural opening to talk about
these difficult issues.
- Parental role modeling
- Maintaining open communication about alcohol, drugs, and other
How to Use This Tool
- For parents who are smokers, you may ask, "Have you ever
tried to quit?" and "How old were you when you started?"
These questions begin the discussion of how easy it is to start
smoking cigarettes and how difficult it is to stop.
- If the clinician suspects a more serious substance abuse problem
in the family, it may be appropriate to discuss this while the
child is out of the room. Vision and hearing screens provide a
natural opportunity to talk with parents in private.
- Ask whether the child's school has a program about alcohol and
Discuss the child's favorite movie and whether there is any
drug use in the movie.
- News reports about drug abuse problems among famous athletes
and performers are natural opportunities to begin this discussion.
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