October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. On this month, every year from now on, time and efforts will be dedicated to ensuring our youngest generations and all others get the education they need regarding the dangers and treatments for substance abuse and addiction.
Now that excessive drug use and drinking is more common in numerous social circles, younger and younger children are being exposed to and trying alcohol and/or drugs. Some younger children believe that drinking and drugging is cool because they see that their role models do it.
If you or your loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder or addiction, let National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, be the month that you get treatment here at Desert Rose Recovery Center.
It should also be noted that if you know someone who is at risk of developing an addiction, educating them on the dangers of alcohol and drug use early on is so important to helping them develop a healthier, substance-free future.
Conversate with the Younger Generations During National Substance Abuse Prevention Month
Many adults don’t like to talk to children, especially younger children, about substance use and addiction. They believe it is too much of an “adult” topic to discuss with them. However, with the way that the world is changing we must conversate with the younger generations about alcohol and drug use. National Substance Abuse Prevention Month is a great time to start the conversation. You can talk to them about why this month was created and let them ask questions, too.
Not sure where you should start in talking to these younger generations? Alcohol use is generally a good spot to begin as most children have seen alcohol within their families or at restaurants. They may even have friends at school that drink alcohol. Some of the things that you may want to discuss with the younger generations about alcohol are:
- What is alcoholism?
- What do they need to know about heavy drinking and alcohol abuse?
- Do they have a family history of alcoholism?
- Are they equipped with the proper coping skills to handle life stressors so they don’t feel the need to self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs?
- What are the dangers of alcohol use?
In addition to these topics, you can discuss drug use and the various types of drugs. You can also discuss the dangers of drug addiction and abusing certain kinds of drugs.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to discuss all these things in one sitting. In fact, that might be a bit too much for younger children to handle. You may want to choose one of these topics to start with and then slowly introduce the other topics.
Some Tips for Talking to the Younger Generations About Alcohol and Drug Use
In addition to what you just learned, there are some other tips that you can use for talking to the younger generations about alcohol and drug use. Some of these tips include:
- Don’t lecture the children or you will likely lose their attention
- Let them ask questions if they have any and be ready to answer or find the answer to these questions
- Have these conversations when there aren’t any distractions
- Talk about how alcohol and drug use can stunt their physical and brain development and cause lifelong issues
- Ask open-ended questions to see what kind of exposure they have already had and whether they might open up to you if they have already used alcohol and/or drugs
- Open up about your own personal experiences with drugs and/or alcohol, so they know you understand and know what you have learned firsthand about substance use
- Give them other resources of people who they can talk to such as the school counselor, a therapist, or a support group (a lot of younger children don’t want to talk to their parents about drugs or alcohol, but they might open up to other people)
If you can follow these tips when talking to the younger generations about alcohol and drug use, it might make them feel more comfortable opening up to you.
Why is Early Prevention Needed
It is also extremely important that we intervene early with these younger generations. The longer you wait to talk to your children about drug and alcohol use, the more likely they are to fall into an addictive lifestyle or situations they have trouble getting out of.
There are some tips that you can use to help these younger generations prevent an addiction in their life, too. Some of the best ways to do this include:
- Offering substance abuse education programs within the community
- Teaching students about substance abuse and addiction in schools
- Talking with children about why alcohol and drugs are so dangerous and what damage these substances can do to their life, health, and relationships
- Discussing different scenarios in which substance use can lead to legal and/or financial issues
- Teaching children how to properly identify and deal with their feelings and obstacles in life, so they don’t turn to alcohol and/or drugs
Early prevention is so important when it comes to the younger generations and substance use. The sooner these children can learn how damaging alcohol and drug use can be in their life, the better. This doesn’t mean you have to throw all the information at young children all at once. However, you can start planning for and having small conversations here and there until they are ready for more information.
Get Younger Generations One Step Ahead with Early Prevention and Addiction Treatment Help
Do you have children in your life? Whether these are your children, students or another child in your life, you probably would do anything you can to protect them. Unfortunately, there are so many younger children who are developing substance use disorders and addictions. Part of the reason for this is lack of education regarding substance abuse and improper early intervention techniques.
Today, you have learned more about how to communicate with children. You have learned about how to teach younger generations about the damages of substance use and addiction, too. If you have children in your life who have an addiction already, don’t hesitate to contact us, so you can get them treatment here at Desert Rose Recovery Center.