October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and each year this month is dedicated to helping educate our youngest generations on the dangers of addiction and substance abuse. As excessive drinking and drug use becomes popularized through certain celebrities and musicians, children become more exposed to the idea of substance abuse as a way to celebrate or show off success.
Now October can serve as a full month of spreading awareness and increasing the number of resources parents and children both have to learn from. Early intervention is key in reducing the likelihood of a child developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol later in life.
Talking To Younger Generations About Substance Abuse
Bringing up any topic considered to be “adult” to a child can be challenging the first time. Many of us haven’t even discussed these topics in depth with other parents, much less our children. It’s important to remember that even if it’s uncomfortable to start, it’s worth it every single time.
If you aren’t sure about where to start, approach the topic using alcohol as the main example as most children are more familiar with the concept of alcoholic drinks than they are of illicit drugs. Spell everything out that you know about alcoholism and even do some research together if they have questions you aren’t sure on. Some other tips include:
- Don’t turn the talk into a schoolhouse lecture or you risk losing their attention quickly
- Have the conversation when there’s no other distractions
- Highlight the risks to their development and life should they abuse drugs or alcohol as a child
- Ask probing questions to see what exposure they’ve had to drugs and alcohol whether it be through peers or other family members
Being able to talk to personal experiences with substance abuse can help you position yourself as an authority on the subject even further for your children. If you don’t have a history with drug or alcohol abuse, see if a family member you trust would be willing to come talk with you and your little one.
Why Early Prevention Is So Important
Substance abuse quickly leads to dependencies and addiction, both of which grow more severe over time. The longer it goes on untreated, the harder it is to break free and lead a sober life once again. Thankfully modern addiction treatment can help anyone start recovery, but avoiding the need for treatment altogether is the goal.
Help your children see that drug and alcohol abuse can quickly consume their life, removing spare time they could be spending on hobbies or hanging out with friends. The cost of treatment can also be a source of concern for the family of an addicted individual, making prevention one of the most effective tools at helping end addiction.
Anyone Can Find Help at ARC
At America’s Rehab Campus, we have experience working with individuals of all ages and backgrounds when it comes to substance abuse and addiction. Our treatment programs are designed uniquely for each of our guests, with everyone receiving 24/7 support from a team of world-class clinicians, therapists, and psychologists.
To get help for you, your child, or a loved one, reach out to the ARC team today.