By the Community Resource Centre – Wood’s Homes
It’s National Addictions Awareness Week in Canada. National Addictions Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness about the impact addictions have on individuals. families and communities.
Here are some helpful tips for parents to help their youth avoid substance addiction:
- Be a good role model. Set a good example with drug and alcohol.
- Take every opportunity to talk to your children and teens about drug and alcohol use. These teachable moments can come up while watching movies, or videos, while listening to songs, etc. Don’t wait until they are teens to start talking about drugs!
- Be sure to talk about peer pressure issues with your kids before they find themselves in a situation. This allows them to be armed with some tools to manage the situation. For example, asking questions about what they might do in certain situations or try role-playing different scenarios with them.
- Stay away from scare tactics and instead provide them with the facts. This will encourage the youth to make more informed, and perhaps safer, decisions versus acting without knowing.
- Have clear expectations around drugs/alcohol (ie. consuming alcohol is not acceptable).
- Monitor the family prescription medication. Prescription drugs have street value and can be dangerous.
- When talking to your youth about drugs and alcohol, be open, curious and non-judgmental. This will make it more likely that he/she will share opinions and experiences.
- If you suspect that your teen has used drugs or alcohol, try to control your emotions and take time to respond calmly. They will be more likely to approach you if they are in danger or trouble if they don’t feel that there will be extreme consequences.
- Remind yourself that young people will take risks (you were young once) and that there are some things that you can control (ie. role modelling, providing facts) and some things that you cannot (ie. choices that young people make).
- Know your resources! Most of us have access to a great deal of information and services that are there to support. The Community Resource Team of Wood’s Homes (403-299-9699) is a good place to start.
Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family and community – let’s work together!
Wood’s Homes is a nationally accredited mental health centre – proudly helping communities for over 100 years. Learn more at woodshomes.ca.