Students’ experience at home is the largest single factor in whether or not they will have a drug or alcohol problem early in life. The stress and pain from living in an alcohol- or drug-affected family can lead to the use of other substances.
Several steps need to be take place to enhance a family’s role in preventing alcohol or drug addiction. First, we must create family environments where it is not acceptable to be drunk or high on drugs. If a parent, other adult, or child has an alcohol or drug problem, someone must have the courage to address it.
All youth are at risk of developing substance abuse problems if they are exposed to addictive substances and use them repeatedly. But a number of risk factors increase the chances that they will become drug-involved, including:Students spot hypocrisy faster than adults can speak it. We must talk clearly to our children about our expectations that they not drink, smoke, or take drugs – but our own behavior is must more influential than our words. Adults must model what they want youth to become.
Alcoholism or addiction in the family
Domestic violence or child abuse
Lack of adult supervision
Lack of problem-solving
Rejection by peers
Lack of commitment to school
If a student has some of these risk factors, he or she is not doomed to become a substance abuser. Even kids at high risk may never develop an addiction. By taking steps now, you can help students avoid or delay any drug experimentation. And delay is key: kids who start experimenting at an early age are considerably higher risk for developing addictions. Someone who makes it to age 20 without abusing drugs or alcohol is less likely to develop a substance abuse problem. Here are just a few things you can do:
Do a family history to determine whether your family has shown signs of alcoholism or other addiction.
Evaluate your own use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
Foster strong family bonds to help counter powerful peer influences.
Set clear expectations for behavior.
Let your kids know they can talk to you about anything, without harsh judgment or lectures.
Expose your children to activities like sports, art, music, reading, or drama, so that they develop avid interests.
Help your child feel a part of his or her school.
Teach your child to make independent decisions.
Teach your child to cope with frustration and stress.
Teach your child to be skeptical of sales pitches.
Students whose parents urge them not to use drugs are less likely to do so – even if they’re pressured by peers. You can help protect your family by creating a loving home and by focusing on the following:
Let family members know you love them.
Make time for fun.
Establish or renew family traditions.
Hold family meetings to problem-solve and plan activities.
Make time for each child.
Communicate your values.
Other Parenting Tips
Observe your students in different settings. Be aware that behaviorial problems can be risk factors for kids. Know that normal teens moodiness are not the same. If a family member is abusing substances, don’t try to handle everything alone.
Get to know your student’s friends and dates. Open communication keeps you in touch with those to whom your child is close.
Know where your children are. Require them to inform you about where they are and to get home on time. Rules and consequences, limits and freedom, teach children to be responsible.
Talk openly about drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Give examples of situations when children may be offered drugs or alcohol. Talk about what they can do to stay out of trouble.
Take family members’ concerns seriously. Treat them with respect, and let them know that whatever happens, you are there for them.
Many times when parents suspect something is not normal, they will wait and see what shakes out. Be proactive and do not be afraid to do the research on your student and find out what is going on. Give students the benefit of the doubt, but be diligent to check out the activities in which he or she is involved.
Information for this article was gleaned from many sources, such as: National Institutes of Health; www.jointogether.org; www.connectforkids.org; www.well.com.user/woa; Center for Drug Free America; and www.teenchallenge.com
Christ Church on Greenland road has an excellent and well established Celebrate recovery program that is a faith based program and works at dealing with the underlying issues that lead one to want a reprieve from reality by substance abuse. They also offer codependency study groups and groups from multiple addictions not only drugs and alcohol. If you would like more information you can contact them at http://www.ccontheweb.com/ and they will assist you in find a celebrate recovery program in the jacksonville area.
There are also Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA)groups in the Jacksonville for support and encouragement in you journey either a person suffering from addiction or a person living with someone who is addicted. Both of the programs offer Al Anon for the family members of a person suffering from addiction.
We're only human. We can err from time to time. It's important we handle our mistakes properly if we're to enjoy long, happy, healthy lives.
You can follow Michael at www.dailysignsofhope.com where he blogs on Mon,Wed,Fri and connect with him on facebook and Networked Blogs