Ok parents, are you overwhelmed with the stories circulating through social media and the news about today’s drug epidemic in the United States? Do the daunting statistics about drug and alcohol use in your city make you want to hide your head in the sand?
Certainly, your fears are justified. Our youth is faced with an unprecedented drug epidemic. Similarly, alcohol abuse is becoming the norm, not the exception. And, add to that the fact that one state after another is legalizing marijuana…. What is a concerned parent to do?
In past articles, we have listed 5 or 10 tips for parents — all of which are powerful tools against future drug and alcohol use. Although the feedback we received from parents was positive, we also heard that some parents simply do not have time to work on 5 or 10 action items.
Therefore, in this era of instant gratification, we are going to recommend one simple and straightforward tool that all parents can use to significantly lower drug and alcohol use in their children.
And what is this magic formula you ask? Simple. Educate your kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Yes, warn them, nag them, remind them or bore them with tales of the destruction of drugs and alcohol.
This simple approach, of being the parent that constantly warns and educates children of dangers, has proven to have dramatic effects. Studies have shown that just this one parenting technique can reduce drug use up to 50%.
Yes parents, cut the risk of your child ending up in a lifelong battle with addiction by telling them (over and over) what you already know. Be that parent that constantly raises the alarm on consequences. Be the parent that turns to the children during a news story about heroin deaths. Be the parent that comments on addicted and homeless teenagers. Be the parent that shares stories about the promise some of your high school friends had before they turned to drugs.
Be the parent that cares and the results will be worth the effort tenfold.
Marc Treitler and his family are the founders and creators of the family addiction education website www.potatoallergy.com and the authors and illustrators of My Dad Is an Alcoholic, What About Me?: A Pre-teen Guide to Conquering Addictive Genes.