Drugs, especially alcohol, can be used to incapacitate, seduce or lure youngsters
into abuse. Young children are tricked into intoxication; older children may willingly
experiment with alcohol and other drugs.
Children under the influence of drugs or alcohol are at much greater risk of abuse
and other violent crimes, at the hands of an adult or even one of their peers. This
is yet another strong incentive for youngsters to steer clear of drugs and alcohol.
Stress that keeping a clear head at all times is critical to person safety. Explain
that predators often encourage youngsters to drink alcohol and take drugs, lessening
their inhibitions or leaving them unable to defend themselves.
Make it clear that you expect your child to never try drugs. Help your child practice
standing up to peer pressure. Urge your child to come to you if and when the pressure
becomes too much so that you may find solutions together.
Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular activities. Children with
many interests are less likely to experiment with drugs. Stress the natural highs
in life and the true "high" that comes from making the most of one's potential.
Explain how drugs diminish that potential.
Establish strong family values as early as preschool years. Convey the ethnic pride
and moral and religious beliefs of your family and its ancestors. Reinforce them.
Set aside time for discussions with your child. Topics may include:
- The art and discipline of saying "NO!"
- Real friends vs. destructive peers
- Natural highs vs. artificial highs
- How drugs rob people of health, careers, lives
- How drugs support organized crime & violent gangs
Avoid lecturing to your children. Discuss and listen.
Praise your child daily.
Give praise for kind deeds, good grades, helping out around the house, scoring in
a game or standing up to peer pressure to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or try
drugs. Nurture your child's natural talents and encourage involvement in sports,
art, volunteer work, music, etc. Get involved yourself!
Trust Your Instincts.
If you think that your child is using drugs, act immediately and firmly. Declare
that drugs and drug use will not be tolerated in your home.
Be firm but loving. Seek help from teachers, counselors, clergy, family members,
local police and other available community resources.
Network with other parents.
Exchange information and concerns about your children. Hold meetings and invite
youngsters to participate. Let them know that because you care, self-destructive
behavior will not be allowed. Prod disinterested parents to get involved; don't
allow them to remain indifferent.