I recently saw this advertisement in the New York Time. The head line was,
“How to talk to your kids about drugs if you did drugs. It was a full page
ad sponsored by the Partnersip for a Drug-Free America. You probably
remember the “this is your brain…this is your brain on drugs” campaign.
On balance, I tend to think they offer the best in public health messages.
But this message was unique.
This puts responsibility on the parents to work with their children to
prevent drug and alcohol abuse. One way is to help parents to overcome their
own ambivalence about being confronted with questions about their own
drug and alcohol history. This is in great contrast to prior messages,
that hope children or teens will simply say “no.”
Since the holidays are a time when families come together, it’s also a time
when drug and alcohol abuse tend to increase. Therefore it seems like a
good time to consider having a talk with your kids. And in order to help us do
so, the Partnership for a Drug Free America offers some guidance.
1.) This isn’t about you.
2) Think about how much your kids wants or needs to know. The fact
is we can all say too much.
3) Many experts suggest giving an honest answer or none at all.
4) Avoid giving your child more information than they have asked for.
5) Say what you mean to say, don’t beat around the bush “I don’t want
you to use drugs.”
6) Share what you’ve learned from your experience with drugs.
7) Try connecting around the reasons you might have used, such as,
“I thought I needed to use to fit in..It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t a
8) Everyone makes mistakes, and trying drugs was a mistake I made. I love
you to much to watch you repeat bad decisions I made.
9)I wanted to share my experience with you, because even if drugs didn’t
ruin my life, I’ve seen them ruin other people’s lives.
10) Ask what they think. Keep asking questions and keep listening to
11) Stay Calm. Try not to raise your voice. It’s ok to admit these conversations
aren’t easy for you either.
12) If you’re nervous, don’t put off having the conversation. This isn’t
about your past. It’s about your child’s future.
For more information, go to drugfree.org
Don\'t be a Patsy