Drug Abuse Prevention, Communications & Information – The Keys to Helping Your Kids &Your Friends

You can prevent someone near you from getting hooked on drugs or stopping an addiction with not a lot of effort and talent. Start with honing your communication skills. Decide to get into a conversation about the dire effects upon the mind and body with the person you love or know has a problem.

But how to do it?

First, consider what NOT to do: Do not overload him or her with too many statistics or with a preacher-like lecture. There is an old saying that “A mind that ‘s changed against its will is of the same opinion still.” There’s a lot of truth in that bit of wisdom. Rather start any conversation establishing agreement (on any subject). Establish agreement so that the person feels comfortable with you in the conversation rather than being on the defensive because of the overload of information being shoved at him or her in a too-long lecture. A lecture is not a real communication.

A real communication is a two-way street in which information is both sent out, received with understanding, and then completed with an answer that deals with the subject at hand.

Also, any real communication is done by keeping a “low gradient” on the subject. In other words, start with a subject, such as the weather, sports, or another area of common interest in which agreement can be sought easily with no disagreement whatsoever. Instead of hammering a person with a ton of statistics about how bad drugs are, how much drug abuse is associated with crime, violence, unhappiness, etc., etc., etc., statistic, statistic, statistic, just keep the message easy to understand and with a minimum of emotion. You will know when you are successful at communicating when the two-way conversation is comfortable between the two of you. With a youngster, that may take awhile and might take several conversations spread over days or weeks.

When your youngster or other friend is comfortable talking to you about the dangers of street-drug abuse, you wil find that you need reference materials that are easy to read and understand. They, in effect, are third party influences that do not come from “mom and dad.” Instead, the youngster is more willing to accept the “third party” authority of the booklets that you can give them. (After all, what do mom and dad or grandpa and grandma know about anything anyway?)

Also, know that your children looks up to you more than you realize, even though they would never admit it.

Concurrently, they also face peer pressure so intense that you have to do something positive to offset it. You can also use the booklets to role-play situations in which your child is confronted by an overbearing drug-pusher. When your child stops the pusher in his tracks with a resounding “no,” you will have succeeded even though you were never told what happened.

Want to learn more about parental drug prevention communication? Go to my website: [http://waragainstdrugs.org], and open it now.

There are two great booklets offered. One is titled, “10 Things Your Friends May Not Know About Drugs.” The other is “How to Talk to Children About Drugs.”

Drug Abuse Prevention – A Simple Approach For Parents

It’s sometimes a tough thing for you as a parent to confront, not being in control of what happens to your child.

But there are things you can do to have more influence. The basic fact is that the more a person knows about something, the more responsibility he can take for it and the more he can control it.

I want to emphasize straightaway here that the philosophy behind this article is all about applying simplicity to the subject. It’s about basics. The world can be such a complex place but the truth is simple – and the truth about drugs is simple. So it is possible to get it across to someone easily.

It may be a cliché but knowledge IS power and the knowledge which you have and then share with your young person can give you that control which you desire.

Now this is not control in a bad way. Let’s face it, a lot of us don’t like to be controlled and most certainly teenagers don’t generally like to be controlled. But being in control so that your teenager does not get into trouble is positive control and it just has to be exerted in such a way that it is not forceful, not make-wrong and hopefully not even obvious.

A survey done by the BBC in Britain a few years ago highlighted the fact that parents are still largely the number one role models in young people’s lives, not some pop singer or sports star. So here’s another thing for you to confront as a parent – your own behaviour, habits and attitudes concerning drugs and alcohol – because they are noticed.

This whole experience of ensuring a safe and happy start in life for your young person starts therefore with you. Just let me reassure you – the more you know and understand the subject of drugs, the easier it gets to deal with it.

Ask any person in his twenties who got into problems with drugs and he will go back to the first experience in his teenage years and tell you that things would have been different if he’d had some real knowledge about them.

Education does start in the home and if a young person is not getting the right knowledge at school or from his friends, then he definitely needs to get it at home. In a world full of misleading and false information about drugs and alcohol, a young person needs stable data to dispel the confusion that inevitably can occur. Just one stable datum can bring certainty where uncertainty existed before – and this reduces the vulnerability of young people in the face of peer pressure.

So help your young person to be more in control. Educate them on what drugs are and how they affect the body and the mind. With more certainty on a subject, young people will be more confident in their decisions. But give them the power of choice. Give them the responsibility. Of course there can be a lot of peer pressure to use alcohol and drugs, but ultimately it is their decision. Rarely is a person pinned down and forced to drink alcohol or take a puff of a joint.

Don’t preach and don’t force your opinions on them. Be honest in answering their questions. Treat them as intelligent, responsible individuals and you can get intelligent, responsible behaviour in return. That might sound like a leap into the unknown for you but just think back to when you were their age – how would you have wanted to be treated?

The author is a part-time lecturer in the field of drug prevention. He gave his first lectures in 1993 and averages about 10,000 young people a year. This he does around his work in the wellness sector where he works mainly with water, algae and salt. He puts a lot of emphasis on the power of simplicity.

“The Drug Attraction- what parents need to know to keep kids out of trouble” is an ebook he has written for parents to help their young people be in control of their lives as they grow up in this current drug culture.