What Can I Do?

So just how does a parent like me prevent his or her child from using drugs, anyway? I don’t want her to hate me, and I don’t want to always be fighting with him.And I can’t be there with her all the time. But I don’t want anything to happen to him, either. Help!

Reduce the Risk of Drug Use

We can help! By improving your drug recognition skills, you will come to identify household products that, if misused, put your children at risk for drug abuse. When you know how to properly store and monitor these items, you are on the right track to safeguarding your children.

By further identifying suspicious pills, powders, rocks, or leaves, and related drug paraphernalia, you can correct a problem before it does further damage to your child’s social, health, and financial well-being.

We can also help you and your teens navigate today’s social waters when it comes to drugs. By understanding social networks, instant messaging, text messaging, and the related language and lingo used, you can talk with your teens about what they have come across online, and how they would respond to friends (and strangers) online.

It’s never too late to get involved with your child or someone you love who you suspect may be abusing or at risk of abusing drugs. We provide a variety of resources from hotlines to treatment facilities.

Here are some proven principles strategies for helping your teen to choose to not use drugs.

11 Points for Parents to Protect Their Kids: Drug abuse can be prevented and addiction is a treatable illness.

Here It Comes! The First Year of Middle School
"The environment plays a significant role in substance-use disorders because anything that increases an individual's exposure to alcohol or other drugs will affect his or her risk of using..."
-- Katherine Ketcham and Nicholas A. Pace, M.D., authors of Teens Under the Influence

For Parents Concerned About Their Teens (Ages 13-17)
Parents of children 13-17 years old often don’t know how to distinguish signs of substance use from “typical” teenage behavior. Nonetheless, if there is no reason to suspect drinking or drug use, do not assume that it is occurring. Not all adolescents drink or use drugs.

Promote Drug Education for Youth

Good Medicine, Bad Behavior: Drug Diversion in America. Exhibit Catalog with Parent's and Teacher's Guide
"If your child needs medications during school hours, speak with school officials about policies for distributing medications to students. If possible, personally take the medications to the school nurse. Make sure unused medications are returned to you."

Red Ribbon Week presents a critical opportunity for parents to engage their children about the real issues around drug use and abuse.  Parents are amongst the first line of defense in the fight against drug abuse and can raise awareness of the problem. Parents can start  by reciting, signing, and/or posting the "Student and Parent Red Ribbon Week pledges", in their homes and schools as a reminder of their pledges to be drug-free.

Taking place November 8-14, 2010, National Drug Facts Week is a time for communities across the country to help educate teens about drugs and drug abuse. Parents and caregivers can encourage their teens to organize an event or participate in one by giving teens a physical or virtual space to ask questions about drugs and get factual answers from a scientific expert.