From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 50 - March 10, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Don't let your kids do drugs
Part 1 of a series
by Casey Dean

In light of the recent release of surveys concerning drug use by students, teachers, proactive students and parents are seeking methods for a remedy for substance abuse, particularly in middle and high school students. Parental awareness and responsibility is pivotal; drug prevention must be initiated at home. Consequently, the following may provide inspiration to parents and knowledge to both guardians and their dependents.

Parental involvement is so efficient that the Office of National Drug Control Policy has dubbed it one of 'the anti-drugs.' According to the ONDCP, 'kids' who learn from their parents or caregivers about the risks of drugs are 36 percent less likely to smoke marijuana - 50 percent less likely to use inhalants, 56 percent less likely to use cocaine (and) 65 percent less likely to use LSD. Consequently, it is invaluable that guardians are aware of the consequences and rewards of their behaviors, as they can induce and prevent the use of drugs and alcohol by youth.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse website, children often approach drugs as a means of escaping upsetting emotions and environments. 'Psychological coping' is the use of substances to deal with factors such as anxiety, anger and depression. The research conducted by NIDA suggests that the use of alcohol and drugs by other family members plays a strong role in whether children start using drugs. The article goes on to cite monitoring and engaging in students' lives as chief factors in preventing drug use.

Adolescents and teens face a challenging, demanding stage of life; as such a solid home life is invaluable in their success. 'Parenting Skills: 21 tips and ideas to help you make a difference,' a publication by the Anti-drug campaign, notes that guardians can provide many forms of support that will reduce substance abuse. The first tip offered by the ONDCP is to establish time together. Simple activities each week, particularly after school and meals, can be incredibly effective in providing support to students by making them aware of parental interest. The highest likelihood of drug use is between 4 and 6 p.m.; it is important that children do not come home from school to an empty house. Studies conducted by the same campaign found that children in households that dine together a minimum of five times each week are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.

When parents cannot be with their children, they can know what activities, friends and supervision are involved. The Truth pamphlet encourages guardians not to be afraid to ask. On the same level, parents are instructed to become acquainted with their dependents, friends and their parents in order to be aware of and familiar with ongoing activities in which their children are engaged.

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