Things You Can Do To Protect Your Kids
Things you can do to protect kids from drug addiction
Studies have shown that one of the most effective methods is to strengthen the protective factors surrounding our children. There are many such protective factors that parents, family members and others can become directly involved with.
For example, parents and other family members can:
- Provide strong adult role models, which helps kids to understand how to develop healthy relationships.
- Help kids develop social skills, which in turn helps them strengthen their coping abilities.
- Talk to kids and try to learn about their hopes, dreams and aspirations.
- Watch what your kids are posting on social media.
- Get to know the parents of your kids’ friends.
- Watch children for signs of depression, and seek professional help for them.
- Provide meaningful opportunities for kids to contribute to their community, which helps boost their self esteem.
- Reward and recognize kids for positive efforts.
Beyond family members, many others in the community can play a role in enhancing protective factors:
- Schools can create more extracurricular activities, which help children learn how to focus their energies and introduces them to more positive peer relationships.
- Medical professionals can look for mental health problems and signs of substance use during exams.
- Mental health professionals can do more depression screening, since depression can foreshadow drug abuse.
- Treatment providers can make sure treatment addresses the whole person, rather than treating substance abuse in isolation with no regard for the individual’s mental and emotional state.
- Religious leaders can create awareness of addiction issues from the pulpit, emphasizing that all children are potentially at risk.
- Law enforcement can create more juvenile diversion programs.
- Business leaders can provide more mentoring opportunities to involve young people with positive experiences that could lead to a productive career.
- Legislators can restore funding for prevention programs, which are many times more cost-effective than dealing with addiction issues after the fact.
- The media can help tell the story of how prevention and protective factors for young people works.