Why Kids May Use Drugs:
· Boredom · Relieve stress · Curiosity
· Have fun · Feel good · Take risks
· Look cool · Ease pain · Feel grown-up
· Show independence · Belong to a group
Kids NEED and WANT to hear from their parents. Despite the influence of peers, media, and pop-culture, parents still rank #1 as the greatest influence in their child’s life! Parents therefore have the greatest opportunity of anyone to influence their child’s perception of drug and alcohol use.
· Spend quality time with your child
· Ask them what they know about drugs
· Listen and keep a calm tone
· Teach them effects of drugs on the body
· Be clear where you stand on drugs
Children who know their parents care are less likely to use drugs or alcohol. Beliefs and habits form early in kids. So the substance abuse conversation needs to start early. USDE also stated that one of the main considerations of kids in contemplating a dangerous activity is "What would my parents think?"
Why drugs are bad:
· Hurt the brain · Damage the body
· Make you sick · Lead to bad decisions
· Addictive · Illegal
Take advantage of the following teachable moments to casually share the dangers of alcohol and other drug use with your young children:
· Commercials, television shows, music and movies often include substance-related content. This is a good opportunity to find out what your child knows about these things. Ask questions and share what you know.
· News stories are opportunities to show real life examples of the dangers and consequences of drug use. If/when this type of news catches your child’s attention, talk about it.
· Many kids see alcohol and tobacco use exhibited by adults in their lives. When they encounter these behaviors, talk openly with your kids about the risks involved, and set expectations for adults in your child’s life to model appropriate behaviors. (You too!)