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 the disease of addiction--despite the fact that addiction tends to begin in childhood.
Parents and caregivers play a critical role in adolescents’ decisions about substance use. This toolkit explains ten evidence-based strategies to build a strong foundation of health and wellness that will help guide our children throughout their lives:
- Talk early and often
- Support healthy activities
- Set clear expectations of no use
- Establish clear consequences
- It’s not your job to be cool
- Do not provide alcohol or drugs to your teens
- Pay attention
- Make time for your child
- Prioritize sleep
- Intervene early
1. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2011, June). Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem. Retrieved from https:// www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-research/reports/adolescent-substance-use-america%E2%80%99s-1-public-health-problem.
The Addiction Resource Center (ARC) provides tools to help patients and families in in crisis, including information about finding treatment, how to help a loved one engage in treatment, how to talk to a doctor, and getting an assessment. Visitors can find nearby treatment providers by searching the comprehensive database or calling the ARC line at 1-833-301-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support.
CADCA represents over 5,000 community-based coalitions across the United States and in 22 countries working to create safe, healthy, and drug-free communities.
Many first time encounters with opioids happen with leftover prescription medications. Learn about medication safety and the ways to safely dispose of your old or unused medications.
Find videos, articles, books and other resources in this searchable portal to empower families to understand and address a child’s substance use.
Call 1-800-222-1222 for free help from an expert.
Check out these resources to help parents start—and keep up—the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.