Just as we build protection against other medical conditions well before the symptoms are likely to appear, it is essential that we begin strengthening our kids’ protective factors against the disease of addiction prior to the teen years, and well in advance of situation when they are offered drugs or alcohol.
This toolkit translates the science of prevention into simple strategies parents and caregivers can incorporate into busy daily lives -- to do what we can to protect our kids from developing an addiction later in life.
The research is clear– talk early and often with your kids about the risks of using alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, prescription medications and other substances.
A key element in preventing the development of a substance use disorder is delaying the age of drug and alcohol use initiation, especially while the adolescent brain is still developing. Remind your kids that you expect them not to use alcohol or drugs, and be clear about these expectations.
Jessica Hulsey, president, Addiction Policy Forum