25 Tips for Parents
Parents Should Know About Substance Abuse
to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Palmer Drug Abuse Program
and drugs are powerful. They cause more physical and emotional
damage in young people's lives at a faster rate than adults.
2. You cannot
isolate your child from this issue. Social tolerance of drug use is
far more prevalent than when you were a teenager.
parents can end up with a child on drugs. Don't let shame or
embarrassment stop you from asking questions and seeking help. In
most cases you did not do this to them.
4. No one is
immune. Just because your child is involved in church, sports or
gets good grades doesn't mean he/she won't abuse drugs or alcohol.
are peer oriented. Positive peer pressure can be just as powerful as
negative peer pressure.
yourself. The more you know about drugs and alcohol, you'll be
better equipped to respond.
is far more potent than it was 20 years ago. Just because you tried
it and turned out okay, does not mean your child will be okay.
over-the-counter medications and various household products can be
used to get high. These include cold and flu medications, aerosol
deodorants, and even alkaline batteries.
9. If your
child experiments with cigarette smoking, it does not mean he/she
will progress to drug & alcohol abuse, but it should open a dialogue
about the subject.
the long-term effects of substance abuse-and the message you are
sending-before allowing your child to have a drink or smoke
cigarettes in your presence.
abuse starts with a bad choice, but continues for other reasons.
Chemical dependency is an illness. Respond to it as such.
take it lightly! Experimenting with alcohol & drugs is not a part of
normal adolescent behavior.
13. If you
suspect your child may be using alcohol or other drugs don't be
afraid to act. In the beginning an over reaction is far better than
14. When a
child starts using, they stop maturing emotionally and socially.
parenting and discipline techniques may not be the best way to deal
with substance abuse.
16. Don't be
afraid to pursue the issue. Searching rooms, confrontation and
setting limits is okay. Hard evidence is not necessary to seek an
17. You can't
rationalize with an irrational person. If your child is using,
chances are they are irrational.
18. A drug
screen is not always conclusive. They can be easily tainted and only
test for certain substances.
on "why" keeps you in the problem and does not provide solution.
20. There is
a difference between enabling and helping. Let your child experience
abuse affects the entire family. Research shows that there is an 80%
greater chance of success in recovery when the family is actively
involved throughout the process.
Communicate with other parents. You'll find that your situation is
not unique, and that recovery is possible.
Communication involves listening. Try actively listening to your
child rather than "fixing" them.
never too soon to get help. Early intervention can and does work.
25. Seek a
professional opinion. They can provide an objective assessment. The
Palmer Drug Abuse Program provides free and confidential assistance