Hasn't yet used drugs, Is experimenting
The role of family in preventing drug problems
No one wants someone they love to develop a problem with drugs or alcohol. In the face of frightening reports about the risks that drugs or alcohol pose you can be forgiven for feeling powerless or helpless in protecting young people.
Although it is true that as young people get older they need to make more and more decisions for themselves and eventually they will need to take responsibility for themselves, there are things families and carers can do within the family environment to help a young person avoid problems.
Understanding the factors that both contribute to drug problems developing and protect against them is a great starting point.
Here are some things that are specific to the family environment that research has shown is protective in preventing drug and alcohol problems developing.
- Ensuring a respectful and age appropriate level of supervision for adolescents (knowing where your young person is and what they are doing when they are not with you.
- Setting a good example with your own alcohol (and other drug use)
- Thinking about and talking through rules and consequences about drugs or alcohol before they use.
- Having open and honest communication with young people about drugs and alcohol
- Having accurate and balanced information about drugs and alcohol
- Providing a generally supportive household environment
If you've just found a young person is taking drugs now you can do something to support them! YoDAA has more info in this video on what you can do!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. we recommend taking a look at the Australian Drug Foundation’s site called "The OtherTalk". It is a drug and alcohol prevention resource especially for parents and carers.