Drug Prevention Facts
Recent Studies on Drug Prevention Have Revealed Some Interesting Facts
- School drug prevention programs are not enough. They greatly increase student’s knowledge about alcohol and other drugs, but they may not prevent students from using drugs. To be more effective, prevention programs should involve parents, students, schools and community.
- Certain characteristics can be used to determine whether or not children are at high risk for using alcohol and other drugs.
- Programs that help students resist peer pressure to try alcohol and other drugs are important. But this learning should begin early, before the teenage years.
- The behavior of parents is more important in helping students resist the use of alcohol and other drugs than learning to resist the pressure of peers.
Children Most At Risk
- Have a great deal of unsupervised free time;
- Lack a sense of purpose or direction;
- Spend most of their free time with peers, usually “hanging out” rather than engaged in activities;
- Have family histories of alcohol and other drug use;
- Lack close ties with parents and receive little affection;
- Have inconsistent or overly harsh disipline at home;
- Are not monitored by their parents and parents are rarely involved in their activities.
Children Least at Risk
- Have warm, affectionate ties with parents;
- Have strong bonds with family and school;
- Can discuss rights, rules and limits with their parents and have a clear idea of what is expected of them;
- Receive encouragement for good behavior as well as punishment for breaking the rules;
- Have parents who spend time with them and join them in activities;
- Receive guidance in developing social skills and a strong self-concept.
What Can You Do?
What can you do to help lower the risk of your children using alcohol and other drugs? You can do a lot. You now know what places some young people at greater risk than others for using alcohol and other drugs. You can reduce or even eliminate those risk factors because:
- Most things that influence risk begin early in a child’s life.
- Most of those risks involve the family-discipline, parents as role models, and children’s bonds to family and school.
- Treat their children as winners.
- Communicate high expectations to their children.
- Let their children know that success requires hard work.
- Understand that mistakes and failure are part of learning.
- Provide a lot of verbal support: they praise their children’s skill and efforts, and remind their children that they love them.
- Give their children age-appropriate household responsibilities to show them they’re an important part of the family.
- Know where their children are, and with whom their children associate.