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6 Tips to prevent substance abuse in your family

Be ready to talk to your children as early as the fourth grade, when they may first feel peer pressure to experiment.

Drug abuse destroys relationships, particularly families. And yet this fact doesn’t stop both teenagers and and grown adults from succumbing to the siren lure of drugs.

To help raise awareness to the harmful effects of drug abuse, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) shared how parents can protect their family from it. Here are some pointers:

1. Establish and maintain good communication with your children

  • Make sure that the communication lines between parent and child remain open, and you do this by making it a point to talk to your children every day. 
  • Ask questions that kids can’t answer with “yes” or “no,” such as “what was your favorite part of the day.” 
  • Be ready to talk to your children as early as the fourth grade, when they may first feel peer pressure to experiment with alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Parents should listen to their children's concerns in a non judgmental way. Understand them; don't preach to them

2. Get involved in your children’s lives

  • Get to know your children and their lives by taking some time to bond with them 
  • It's also beneficial to support your children by attending  attending special events, like recitals and games, and praising them for their efforts
  • Help your children manage problems by asking what is wrong when they seem upset and letting them know you are there to help

3. Make clear rules and enforce them consistently

  • Make it a point to set rules, expectations, and consequences, and if a rule is broken, be sure to enforce the necessary consequences
  • It's also important for parents to praise their children when they rules and meet expectations

4. Be a positive role model

  • Children tend to look up to their parents, and for this very reason they should be a good role model when it comes to substance abuse
  • Remember that you set the example. Avoid contradictions between your words and your actions. Use alcohol in moderation, don’t smoke cigarettes, and never use drugs

5. Help your children choose friends wisely

  • Parents should try to help their children make better friends
  • It's also helpful to get to know their friends' parents and family to better create a safe environment for their children 

6. Talk to your children about drugs

  • Engage your children in a conversation and slowly approach the subject of drugs by asking what they feel and know bout it.
  • Parents should try to educate themselves about  different substances so that when they talk to their children all the facts are right. 

READ: Parents Beware: Illegal drugs look like vitamins and marketed as “recreational”

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