Ten Ways to Prevent Drug Abuse in the Home
Everywhere we look and try to read valuable information about drugs, alcohol, addiction, and other factors of substance abuse, it seems that we are assailed with bad news and painful descriptions. It can get a little overwhelming. And that isn’t always what we need.
Those of us who have seen substance abuse, been face-to-face with it perhaps by seeing it in the eyes of a family member or loved one, we just need information on how we can help. We need to know what we can do to remove drug problems. We need to know what we can do to correct substance abuse issues. Probably most importantly, we need to know how to prevent substance abuse from cropping up in our homes and families.
Ten Ways to Prevent Substance Abuse
Parents often worry for their children, regardless of their age, that they might abuse drugs or alcohol. Some of the tools and methods that parents can employ might seem completely unrelated to drug abuse prevention, but there are connections here that may sit below the surface. Here is a list of ten strategies that parents can employ to ensure that their sons and daughters grow up safe, healthy, and happy:
1. Insist on healthy lifestyles in the form of healthy meals.
Scientists have long since proven that unhealthy eating habits lead to other unhealthy habits. Unhealthy living begets unhealthy living, and so on. When young people are exposed to healthy eating habits, they are less likely to walk down a path of substance abuse.
2. Insist on regular and varied family time.
Here’s another interesting tool that most families would not think of. Research from the National Association for Children of Alcoholics indicates that children of parents who spend a lot of time with them are less likely to become addicts later on in life.
3. Get the kids involved in family projects.
Kids want to help out, even if they don’t seem to act like it. Getting them involved in family projects grows morality and asense of teamwork in the family, and that is a natural deterrent to substance abuse.
4. Cut the electronics down a notch.
Research has already proven that excessive internet stimulation not only creates addictive tendencies itself, but it also exposes young people to imagery and video content that glamorizes drug use.
5. Talk to the kids about drugs.
Yes, that’s right, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that, when parents talk to their kids about drugs and educate them on the subject, those kids are four-hundred percent less likely to abuse substances later on in life. It’s because these kids now know what is at stake, a luxury most kids do not get because only thirty percent of parents have these conversations with their kids.
6. Be open and honest with kids about previous drug abuse of your own.
Here again, we have the power of trust and a strong bond between children and parents. Parents should be honest with their kids about their own drug histories, especially if the kids ask about it.
7. Vet the friends and social circles of the kids.
Who kids hang out with at various stages of their adolescence can have a big impact on their upbringing. In fact, when kids grow up around other kids who are abusing drugs and alcohol, their own chances of engaging in such activities increase exponentially.
8. Insist that the community gets involved in drug abuse prevention.
When the community and schools get involved in raising awareness and educating the young people and the adults of the risks present with drug abuse, the entire problem reduces in that area.
9. Get all unused pharmaceuticals out of the house.
Ideally, a home with children, adolescents, teens, or young adults would not have any potentially addictive drugs in it.
10. Get the kids involved in extracurricular activities.
Iceland has the lowest young adult substance abuse rates in the world. They attribute it to after-school activities and closely monitoring the youths’ time, who they spend it with, what they’re doing in and out of school, etc.
These are just a quick smattering of ideas on how to prevent drug abuse in the home. The thing to remember is that any action taken in this direction is far better than no action at all.