Drug and Alcohol Prevention
Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of trust involving communication, respect, and supportiveness. In balanced friendships, friends will respect your boundaries and feelings and will encourage you rather than put you down. Friendships, however, may involve conflict, and this does not mean that friends will always part ways. Our kids also must be taught how to resolve conflict in a healthy way:
Set boundaries – establish what is acceptable and what is not
Identify the “real” issue – sometimes there are underlying reasons an argument has occurred; what is the “real” issue at hand
Agree to Disagree – When it comes to some issues, friends have to understand they may not always agree on everything and may have to compromise when possible. Issues, however, that compromise one’s values and beliefs, may cause one to evaluate the depth of the friendship/relationship and at what level he/she wants to remain in the friendship/relationship.
Your children do listen to you, and they do not want to disappoint you!
Establish and maintain good communication with your children.
Get involved in your children’s lives.
Make clear rules and enforce them consistently.
Be a positive role model.
Help your children choose friends wisely.
Talk to your children about drugs. Kids who continue to learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who are not taught about these dangers.
Warning Signs of Drug / Alcohol Abuse
- Has changed relationships with family members or friends
- Uses chewing gum or mints to cover up breath
- Often uses over-the-counter preparations to reduce eye reddening or nasal irritation
- Frequently breaks curfew
- Has cash flow problems
- Drives recklessly, and has car accidents or unexplained dents in the car
- Avoids eye contact
- Locks doors
- Goes out every night
- Makes secretive phone calls
- Makes endless excuses
- Has the “munchies” or sudden appetite
- Exhibits uncharacteristically loud, obnoxious behavior
- Laughs at nothing
- Has become unusually clumsy: stumbling, lacking coordination, poor balance
- Disappears for long periods of time
- Has periods of sleeplessness or high energy, followed by long periods of “catch up” sleep
Mood & Personality Shifts
- Exhibits mood changes or emotional instability
- Sullen, withdrawn, depressed
- Shows loss of inhibitions
- Silent, uncommunicative
- Hostile, angry, uncooperative
- Deceitful or secretive
- Less motivated
- Unable to focus
- Unusually elated
Hygiene & Appearance Problems
- Smell of smoke or other unusual smells on breath or on clothes
- Messy appearance
- Poor hygiene
- Red, flushed cheeks or face
- Track marks on arms or legs (or long sleeves in warm weather to hide marks)
- Burns or soot on fingers or lips (from “joints” or “roaches” burning down)
- Unusually tired
- Lethargic movement
- Unable to speak intelligibly, slurred speech, or rapid-fire speech
- Runny nose, not caused by allergies or a cold
- Frequent sickness
- Sores, spots around mouth
- Wetting lips or excessive thirst (known as “cotton mouth”)
- Sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain
- Skin abrasions/bruises
- Accidents or injuries