Summary - Recap
By reading Keeping Youth Drug Free and taking the suggested action steps, you are helping to ensure your children reach their fullest potential and grow up happy, healthy, and drug free. Here is a quick recap of the things you can do to help your child resist alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.
Establish and maintain good communication with your child.
Talk with your children about alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs and listen to their pressures and problems. Teach your child the health, safety, and legal consequences of using alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. If you're not sure what they are, look for information starting on page 17 of this guide, or call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 1-800-729-6686 (TDD 1-800-487-4889) to request information on specific drugs or other literature (online at www.samhsa.gov). You also may contact the resources listed on the following pages.
Get involved in your child's life.
Get to know her individuality. Work with her strengths. Accept a child's unique talents and personality. Provide love, support, and encouragement to the child in your life.
Make clear rules and enforce them with consistency and appropriate consequences.
Be clear and consistent in your expectations, rules, and messages.
Be a positive role model.
Do not engage in any illegal, unhealthy, or dangerous drug use practices. Provide an example consistent with what you say.
Teach your child to choose friends wisely.
Practice ways for him to refuse drugs with methods that fit his personality.
Monitor your child's activities.
Ask questions about what he's doing, with whom, for how long, and where.
Get to know the friends he spends time with and the other parents, as well. Be sure children have easy access to a wide range of appealing, drug- free, alternative activities and safe, monitored areas where they can gather, especially during after-school hours.
CASA, National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse VIII: Teens and Parents, 2003.
SAMHSA, Adolescent Self-Reported Behaviors and Their Association With Marijuana Use, September 1998.
Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2003.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Issue Brief: The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity, 2004.
Mulhall, P.F., D. Stone, and B. Stone. (1996). Home Alone: Is It a Risk Factor for Middle School Youth and Drug
Use? Journal of Drug Education, 26(1), pp. 39-48.
Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network