Dec
06

Addiction: Breaking The Grip: Focus On Prevention!!!

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Addiction: Breaking The Grip: Focus on Prevention!!!

           

 

Today I went to www.addictioninfo.org to research information for this blog so as to be of service and value to the readers who may be facing the challenges of having an addict in their life. I found an article about the health risks of smoking, a controversial article about the use of a prescription drug to replace the addiction of another drug,  and an article on why cancer patients can’t stop smoking. As I read these articles I began to think of what can a parent do to alleviate the drug use, smoking, alcohol use, and other addictive behavior?

 When The Addict’s Mom hosted its monthly roundtable, which is now available at 605-477-2199 pin 131099# reference #34, with guest Denny Coates, whose website, www.strongforparenting.com, goes more into detail about the teenage brain, we discussed the many reasons why a teen starts to use alcohol, drugs,or smoke and we came to the consensus that the only way to stop the use is through prevention.

 One way to prevent drug use, alcohol use, and smoking is to make your child feel important from day one and interact with them. Ask your self when was the last time you sat down to a family dinner and really had a good conversation with your child about who he or she is hanging out with, or how they are feeling with out judgement? Ask yourself how have I been communicating with my child. As a past educator, who worked at A Regional Rehabilitation For Youth in The Philippines during my U.S. Peace Corps Service I often asked myself what message am I sending to the boys? I asked myself am I empathetic or judgemental? When I found myself being judgemental I turned to this passage in The Bible and began to find ways to show these fruits and as a result the kids began to show improvement.  By using this as a foundation to communicate you may prevent additional use of drugs, alcohol,or cigarettes.  The key to prevention is communication.

Be a cheerleader for your child. If they are having a rough time be the one that helps them through it. make time to support your child by attending activities that they are involved in. My mom and I had a monthly tradition until she passed on July 5, 2012, where we would do a Mommy and Son Day and we would talk about anything and everything and make sure we supporting each other emotionally. My mom was my biggest cheerleader. By being a cheerleader for your child you will show them that they are loved and by showing love you may prevent them from using drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes.

 Setting boundaries is a key ingredient to prevention. One thing to remember is to set and stick to the boundaries for if you do not you only add to the challenges being presented by addiction. If from day one your child knows that these are the rules under your roof and theses are the consequences if the boundaries are broken you may again prevent the use of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

Addiction: Breaking The Grip: Focus On Prevention!!! More Strategies

The Following excerpt is from an article found at http://www.emedicinehealth.com/teen_alcohol_and_drug_abuse-health/page5_em.htm

Prevention Strategies

Teens who don’t use alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs are less likely to use them as adults. Efforts to prevent teen substance abuse should begin early in life with education, encouragement of healthy behaviors, and good family bonds.

Positive self-esteem, a supportive family, and positive role models help teens gain confidence to make good choices.

If you live in a high-risk neighborhood or your teen is at high risk for an abuse problem, a community program can help your teen learn skills to avoid substance abuse.

By age 9, your child will have opinions about substance use. So start early to help your child learn the skills needed to avoid substance use.

Be a role model, and stay connected

  • Be a role model. As a parent, your attitude toward alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs is one of the greatest influences on whether your child will use substances. If you have a substance abuse problem, get help. If you quit, your teen is more likely to get help early if he or she starts abusing a substance.
  • Share your beliefs. Even though they may not act like it, most children listen to what their parents tell them. Talk with your teen about the effects of substances on emotions, schoolwork, and health. If you have a family history of abuse problems, talk with your teen about his or her increased risk for the same problems.
  • Stay connected. Know your teen’s friends. Know where your teen is at all times. Set times when the family is expected to be together, such as at mealtimes. Plan family outings or other family fun activities.
  • Be fair and consistent. Extremes of discipline can increase the risk of substance abuse. Set reasonable consequences for unacceptable behavior, and consistently carry them out. Praise your teen for his or her successes. Expect your teen to follow the household rules. Use a parent-teen contract to write down expected behaviors and consequences if the plan is not followed.
  • Encourage activities. Keep your teen busy with meaningful activities, such as sports, church programs, or other group involvement. Teens who feel good about themselves are less likely to use alcohol and drugs.
  • Get informed. Learn about the substances commonly abused by teens. Talk with a doctor. Find out how the drugs work, what their street names are, and what the signs of being under the influence are.

Talk about personal and legal consequences

  • Personal consequences. Explain that some behaviors, such as unsafe sex, can lead to consequences that last a lifetime. Talk about how the use of substances while trying to develop adult skills—graduating from high school, going to college, getting a job—can affect your teen’s future.
  • Legal consequences. Remind your teen that it is illegal for teens to use any substances. Talk about the increased risk of car crashes, violence, and arrests because of substance use.

 

 By stepping up and being proactive in your role as a parent you may be able to prevent the continued use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes. Know that if you have an addicted child that you are not alone and that groups such as www.addictsmom.com can be a great place to share without shame and find more resources.

Please share any strategies that you may have to help with prevention.

 

 

 

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