Lloydminster Area Drug Strategy © 2011 | Website: Big Sky Multimedia
Production of this website has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.
Being a parent can be tough, especially as your kids get older and start being exposed to things like drugs and alcohol. Being Aware, Caring and Taking Action can help protect your kids from the dangers of substance abuse.
Raising and supporting a child with good self esteem, social and problem solving skills and a sense of self purpose and positive future, is your first line of defense against substance abuse. Educating yourself and your kids about the negative effects of drug and alcohol abuse and setting a good example, are important too.
Sometimes, though, kids start using drugs and alcohol, and parents need to know how to spot the signs of use, and what to do about it.
What are some of the signs of drug and/or alcohol use and abuse?
- changes in school performance
- changes in attitude to sports or other activities
- changes in weight or physical appearance
- changes in eating or sleeping habits
- different friends and social activities
- behaviour changes
While none of these signs on their own mean that your child is using drugs or alcohol, clusters of changes might be more significant.
Show your child that you Care about them and are concerned about their substance use by talking about it with them in an open, honest and nonjudgmental way.
What can you do when you confirm that your child has a substance abuse issue?
- learn how to help your child evaluate their substance use, and the negative effects on their life
- help your child learn how to work through anger issues
- get medical treatment for depression
- learn steps in changing negative behaviours
- learn how to actively intervene in serious addiction cases
If you have tried to work through your child's substance abuse, and have not had success, the next step is seeking out professional treatment. There are options in both Saskatchewan and Alberta to treat adolescents with addiction issues, even when they don't want treatment.
When your partner is addicted...
Sometimes as a parent, it's not your child that has the problem, but your partner. How do you help your child stay healthy in this situation?
- Learn to talk openly and honestly about the problem
- don't enable by lying or making excuses
- build and maintain trust between yourself and your child
- teach them to talk effectively about their feelings
- make sure they know it's not their fault.
For more information and details on protecting your children and teens from substance abuse, download the LADS Resource Handbook. In it you will find expanded information on all the above issues.