Raising healthy, drug-free kids is not always easy. Even if you limit access to drugs and alcohol at home, kids and teens may come into contact with them elsewhere. They may have friends at school who use drugs, or may seek out alcohol to help cope with stress.
As a parent, you can take several proactive steps to prevent addiction and raise drug-free kids.
1. Talk to Your Kids About Drugs
Talking to your child about drugs is one of the most important steps you can take. Through open conversations, you can help kids understand the consequences of drug use and how addiction impacts a person’s health and day-to-day life. With this knowledge, they’re more likely to say no.
If you’re not sure how to start talking to your child about drugs, here are a few ideas to start the conversation:
- Ask your child about their perspective on drug use
- Schedule a time to talk about drugs
- Ask your child what they’ve learned about drugs in school
- Use news stories or fictional depictions as starting points
2. Show Your Kids They Can Depend on You
To prevent problems with addiction, foster a supportive, open relationship with your kids. Let your child know they can come to you for help at any time, no matter what. Assure them there will never be repercussions for honesty. Show your kids you appreciate it when they tell the truth or ask you for help.
Consider helping your kids come up with a plan to avoid drugs or alcohol in social situations. For example, you could tell your child that they can call you at any time to be picked up and removed from an uncomfortable environment.
3. Pay Close Attention to Behavior
Some kids turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with stressors in their lives. If you notice a change in your child’s mood or behavior, ask them what’s going on while remaining non-judgmental. Listen closely to what they tell you.
If you think your child may need support from a mental health professional, set up an appointment. Above all else, let your children know you care about them unconditionally.
4. Lead by Example
Avoid using drugs or alcohol in front of your kids and keep prescription medications locked away. If you know addiction runs in your family, make sure to share this fact with your child. It’s important for them to know that drug or alcohol use may be more dangerous for them than for their peers.
How 7 Summit Pathways Can Help
With open communication and awareness, it’s possible to raise drug-free kids. Another important part of being a parent is knowing when to ask for outside help.
At 7 Summit Pathways, we offer evidence-based, personalized treatment and support for individuals and families throughout the Recovery process. To make an appointment or learn more about protecting your kids, please reach out to us today.