According to the Parents Translational Research Center and the Partnership for a Drug Free America, there are six (6) things parents can do to prevent their child from developing an alcohol and/or drug issue:
- Build a warm and supportive relationship with their child
- Be a good role model in terms of both alcohol/medicine consumption and coping with stress
- Understand your child’s risk level
- Monitor, Supervise and set boundaries
- Have ongoing conversations that include information about drugs/alcohol
- Know your child’s friends
I took these six (6) things from a research and help paper that I’ve included at the bottom of this article. This document presents several tips and techniques that can actually help build and strengthen the parent/child relationship. For example, the document presents four (4) common risk factors about which a parent (or clinician for that matter) should be aware:
- Family History
- Mental or behavioral disorder
- Trauma history
- Impulse control issues
It can be hard to acknowledge that these risk factors are present, but the sad fact of life in today’s world is that prevalence of all four appears to be growing and we all need to understand that these risk factors can indicate a potential for a child to develop a drug or alcohol issue. As a note, though, risk factors are probabilistic, that is, just because a risk factor for an outcome is present in any given situation does not guarantee that the outcome will happen. Risk factors just simply mean that if they do exist, we should recognize that they are present and increase vigilance towards the outcome. For example, my family has a long and ignoble history with alcohol abuse. Because of this history, I stopped drinking alcohol several years ago such that my son knows that I do not have a relationship with alcohol. My own awareness has allowed me to “trap” for alcohol in an attempt to disrupt its hold upon my family.
The document is quite good and I felt compelled to share it as I think that it’s useful, not only for parents, but for clinicians, educators, and adults in general. Please let me know of any thoughts.