“When prevention works, it is the only treatment that is 100% safe and effective. Families are front-and-center in successful prevention efforts. I’m so glad to see the best of what we know about prevention applied to actionable strategies for parents.”
~ Dr. Mark Gold, Addiction Psychiatrist, and Professor, Washington University School of Medicine
From the moment our children are born, keeping them safe is second nature: we hold them close as they get their first shots, teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, and help them develop healthy habits that will nurture them throughout their lives. We hear very little, though, during the critical early years about how to protect our kids from addiction, despite the fact that the disease tends to begin in adolescence.
Addiction is a complex disease and there are many factors that contribute to a person’s overall level of risk. There are some risk factors that we cannot change—genetics, for example—but there are other critical ones—like delaying the age of first use and limiting access to substances—that we can support.
Here are ten evidence-based strategies that parents and caregivers can implement to build a strong foundation of health and wellness that will help guide our children throughout their lives.