Prevention Tips

What Can Parents Do?

  • Talk to your child about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
  • Drugs and alcohol damage the growing brain which develops from birth through the adolescent years and into the mid 20’s.
  • Set clear rules about drugs and alcohol
    • A parents’ disapproval of drinking alcohol is the #1 reason children choose not to drink.
  • Know where your child is and whom they are with.
    • Find ways to check on your child when you’re not around, either with phone calls, text messaging or through a neighbor dropping by.
  • Get to know your child’s friends and their parents.
    • Help your child choose friends who support your family rules.
  • Ensure your children’s social environments are drug and alcohol-free.
    • Consider not serving alcohol to adults at child-focused events, such as a graduation or birthday party.
  • Have daily, positive communication and interaction with your child.
    • Encourage your child to share their concerns and ask questions about drugs and alcohol.
  • If you haven’t already set clear expectations and consequences about no drug use, now is the time!
    • Most parents talk to their child about drugs and alcohol too late.  Age 8 is not too early.

Media Literacy

Media literacy is being able to analyze media messages, understand the intent of the messages, and judge how the information is used.  Today’s youth are flooded with media messages with positive and negative meanings.  Here are questions to help your child learn how to analyze media messages:

  • What did you observe?
  • What is the purpose of the advertisement?
  • What kinds of messages is it sending?
  • What are some of the consequences?

Refusal Skills

Finding creative ways to say “No” requires lots of practice.  Here are four techniques for saying “No”:

1. Repeat:  “No, I don’t want to.”  “No Thanks.”   “No, I can’t.”

2. Justify:  “I can’t.  I have to _____.” [Make an excuse.]

3. Substitute:  “No, let’s _____.”  [Suggest another activity.]

4. Walk Away:  “No.  I have to go.”