Parents have a significant role both in the active drug use of their children and during the recovery process. Parents of drug users can do a great deal to help their children overcome the disease of addiction, but they can also do a lot of harm if they don’t make the right choices regarding their children.
Perhaps the most common role that parents play in the addiction of their children is that of the enabler, a person who consciously or not makes the drug use of the addict possible. An enabler can be a parent who simply makes excuses for the drug use or drinking of their children, or they can be much more damaging. Some enablers have been known to regularly purchase drugs or alcohol for the user, to make excuses for or hide the severity or frequency of use.
10 ways parents can prevent drug use and abuse
- Setting a positive example.
- Ask open ended questions.
- Practice open communication daily: Research shows that a positive influence by parents can help prevent drug abuse in children and teens.
- Getting involved in children’s lives: get to know their friend, attend their events.
- Be non-judgemental
- Talk about drugs and alcohol early on
- Set clear rule and enforce them
- Be a parent instead of a friend
- Praise your children often: we all feed on positive reinforcement. Children thrive on having the approval of their parents. It builds self-esteem which leads to the confidence to ‘say no’ when and if the time comes. Even during those phases when their child seems to be driving crazy, look for the opportunities to praise.