Can substance abuse be prevented?
Most parents have a common question that troubles them night and day i.e. can they possibly prevent their children from becoming addicts? This question comes from addict parents and non-addict parents alike, simply because substance abuse, alcohol abuse and other forms of drug intake have become so prevalent in this day and age.
In case you have a history of addiction in your family, the chances of your children becoming addicts or at least abusing substances even slightly are far higher. The best way to avoid them becoming addicts is to stop drinking or using drugs in front of them, but in all honesty, it is far more complex than that.
A substance abuse therapist answers some important and commonly asked questions about parents and what they should and should not do regarding drug addiction to decrease the likelihood of their children abusing substances. Here are some of the most important things that were highlighted by the therapist:
There is no set standard for parenting
When people tell you that there are surefire ways of effectively ensuring that your children do not become addicts, then remember that this is incorrect. Not every technique works for every type of child, and not ever children responds the same way to a specific technique.
The only best possible way you can prevent your children from becoming drug addicts is by becoming a good example by not excessively drinking or abusing drugs in front of them.
Know when to ask for help
Most parents have a strict no asking for help policy because they are determined to do everything their way. Understanding that you need help regarding your parenting, especially regarding preventing substance abuse in your kids, requires a lot of the good old swallowing your pride. Not only that, but if you have an addiction, then asking for help can make you become a better example for your children as well.
Understand the limitations of parenting
For some, growing up in perfectly healthy, happy white picket fence traditional households might seem the perfect way to eliminate the risk of addiction, but that is not the case. There are cases of children belonging to such stereotypically perfect households, who grew up to become addicts, and there are cases in which children from chaotic, abusive and addict filled substance abusing families who grew up to have never even had a single cigarette.
The whole nature versus nurture and this tricky dichotomy makes it impossible to pinpoint a type of parenting that is going to be a surefire preventative measure for children becoming addicts. It is best if parents understand that even parenting has its limitations, and a LOT of other factors go into the possibility of your child becoming an addict.
Despite how negative all the tips above may have seemed, they are not intended to make parents feel as if there is nothing they can do in this scenario. There is obviously a lot you can do, and the first thing to do is to take charge of the household. Take charge of your lifestyle and empower your children to do the same so they can be strong about addiction and learn to cope with or say no to peer pressure etc.
Live a positive life and love yourself!
Since misuse of prescription medication, alcohol abuse, and illegal drug usage has all been linked to anxiety, depression and chronic pain, you can start by vowing to live a life full of self-esteem and self-love. The more you take care of yourself and live a healthy lifestyle, the more your children will take note and do the same. You can set an example that says happy and healthy people who love themselves do not need drugs or alcohol. By setting this example for your children, you can help them lessen the risks of substance abuse.