The Role of Parenting in Preventing Substance Abuse

Parents Prevent Substance Abuse - Freedom From Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently published a handbook for parents entitled,"Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse." This handbook is meant to provide parents with specific tools for preventing substance abuse by their children through open communication and education.

Communication is Key to Preventing Substance Abuse

Families with good communication between parents and their youth are more successful in preventing substance abuse among members of that family. The booklet provides tips for opening lines of communication and enabling discussion about even serious subjects. To facilitate open communication, parents are urged to ensure everyone participating is free of distraction and that key skills are employed by the parents. Those skills include:

  • Questioning
  • Listening and observing
  • Reducing emotion

Parents are also urged to use specific tactics in talking to their children:

  • Encouragement: Builds confidence in youth and promotes family cooperation while reducing conflict.
  • Negotiation: Helps members of the family learn to cooperate when problem-solving.
  • Setting Limits: Helps kids learn to exercise self-control, responsibility and caring while staying within boundaries.
  • Supervision: Keeps parents aware of things going on in their children's lives and keeps communication open.
  • Awareness of Friends: By knowing a child's friends, the parent is able to ensure safety of his or her child and impart responsibility.

Communication Toward Freedom From Addiction

Through observation or open communication, parents are sometimes made aware of problems in their adolescent's life. Substance abuse may be one such problem. It's never too late to start communicating more effectively, especially toward prevention of the beginning or continuation of substance abuse. Although tactics recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse within the Family Checkup handbook may not have been used in the past, it's never too late to start using those tactics for deeper communication in families. Even after substance abuse has started, honesty and speaking openly with each other are keys to gaining freedom from addiction or stopping substance abuse before it has become a bigger problem. Communication is effective for preventing substance abuse. Treatment is always the best course of action for an adolescent at risk or one already engaged in substance abuse and addiction. Getting help is the first step to re-opening damaged lines of communication and ensuring that young person has the potential for a bright future as a more engaged and open member of the family. For help, call Freedom From Addiction. We can steer you toward effective solutions for drug and alcohol abuse.

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