Drug Education & Prevention

Steps to Fight Substance Abuse in Your Community
Help fight substance abuse in your family by these actions:

  • Talk about your concerns regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  • Listen to discover the pressures family members feel - at home, work or school
Help Children Deal With Peer Pressure
  • Know their friends, their activities and their whereabouts at all times
Provide Positive Social Interactions
  • Schedule "family time" for recreation and communication
  • Support community efforts to establish and maintain alcohol, drug and smoke free environments and activities
Get the Facts
  • Learn the jargon to be able to discuss drugs knowledgeably
  • Be aware of the signs of drug use and share your knowledge
  • Find out where to get help if you suspect someone you know has substance-abuse problem
Be a Positive Role Model
  • Set a strong example that is consistent with your drug-free message
  • Join with other families who encourage and support a drug-free lifestyle
  • Volunteer at school and in the community to plan school sponsored, substance-free activities
10 Steps to Help Your Child Say No To Alcohol & Other Drugs
1. Talk With Your Child About Alcohol and Other Drugs
You can help change ideas your child may have that "everybody" drinks, smokes, or uses other drugs. Share with your child research on the effects alcohol and drugs can have on them. Education facilitates prevention.

2. Learn to Really Listen to Your Child
Your child is more likely to talk with you when you give verbal and nonverbal cues that show you are listening. Own what you say and what you hear with "I Talk". Say "This is what I heard you say" and "What I need to say is".

3. Help Your Child Feel Good About Himself or Herself
Your child will feel good when you praise efforts, as well as accomplishments, and when you correct by criticizing the action rather than the child. Children who esteem themselves do not need to down scale into negative peer groups that use alcohol and drugs in order to feel accepted.

4. Help Your Child Develop Strong Values
A strong value system can give your child the courage to say no rather than listen to and go along with drug using friends. Help your child realize that drugs are not only bad because they are illegal, but also because they alter brain functioning.

5. Be a Good Role Model or Example
Your habits and attitudes may strongly influence your child's ideas about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. If you socially model smoking, your child may smoke also. If you use drugs and alcohol, you are showing these behaviors to be acceptable to your child.

6. Help Your Child Deal With Peer Pressure

A child who has been taught to be gentle and loving may need your permission to say no to negative peer pressure. Make sure your child has been specifically taught the ways to assertively say no to drugs. All children need to have resistance skills training.

7. Make Family Rules

It's helpful when you make specific family rules about your child not using alcohol or other drugs or smoking cigarettes. And it's helpful to tell your child the punishment for using them. Also, give your children positive reinforcement for adhering to family rules. Always praise the behaviors you want to encourage.

8. Encourage Healthy, Creative Activities

Hobbies, participation in school events, and other activities may prevent your child from using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs out of boredom. Encourage your school, church and children to form drug-free social clubs. There is strength in numbers.

9. Team Up With Other Parents

You can join other parents in support groups that will reinforce the guidance you provide at home. Work with other parents to hold drug free activities for youth in your community.

10. Know What to Do If You Suspect a Problem
You can learn to recognize the tell tale signs of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and how and where to get help immediately for your child. There are several places in Hamilton county that offer this type of help.
10 Actions Families Can Take to Raise Drug Free Kids
  1. Start: It is never too early to prevent your children from trying drugs. Building protective factors, such as letting your child know you care, plays an important role in protecting even the youngest children from drugs.
  2. Connect: Take every opportunity to build lines of communication with your children. Do things as a family. Spend time together like eating dinner as a family, reading together, playing a game, or attending religious services. Show that fun doesn't involve drugs.
  3. Listen: Take a more active interest in what is going on in your children's lives. Listen to their cares and concerns. Know what they are up to what parties they are going to, with whom, and what will be served or available.
  4. Learn: Children today are sophisticated. In order to educate your children about the danger of drugs, you need to educate yourself first. In many cases, you and your children can learn side by side. Sit down together and learn about the risks drugs pose.
  5. Educate: Spend at least 30 minutes with your kids every month explaining with simple facts how drugs can hurt youngsters and destroy their dreams.
  6. Care: Spend at least a few minutes each day telling and showing your children that you care. Make sure they know you care that they are drug-free. Explain to your children that you will always be there for them - no matter what happens. Make sure they know to come to you first for help or information. The extended family plays a major role in influencing a child's life.
  7. Be Aware: Look for the warning signs that your children may be developing a substance abuse problem and get help before the problem occurs. Your pediatrician can help.
  8. Set Limits: By setting limits on what is acceptable behavior, you show your children you care and you help guide them to a safer, drug-free future. Declare limits like "This family doesn't do drugs. This family doesn't hang around people who do drugs." Enforce these limits. If you say no drugs or no drinking and driving, the rule applies to parents, too. Be consistent.
  9. Get Involved: Effective prevention extends beyond the home into the community. Get involved in your community. Ensure that your community's streets, playgrounds, and schools are safe and drug-free. Start or join a community watch group or community anti-drug coalition. Become active in the PTA. Get involved in your church, synagogue, or faith.
  10. Lead: Young people are as aware of what you do as much as what you say. Don't just say the right things; do the right things. Set a good example. If you, yourself, have a substance abuse problem, get help.