Article 3 - 10 THINGS YOU CAN DO

DRUG PROBLEMS IN FAMILIES

 

10 THINGS YOU CAN DO

The prospect of one’s child taking drugs is frightening, and parents often feel helpless. They hope it will not happen in their family, and feel ill-equipped to deal with it if it does.  There are, however, constructive steps which parents can take:

 

1. Listen to each other and encourage open communication in the family;

2. Educate the family about the effects and risks of using drugs, and what resources are available;

3. Set a good example by making informed choices about your own use of substances, e.g. alcohol and medications;

4. Take an interest in your childrens’ lives. Ensure that you always know where they are, with whom they spend time, and that they are well supervised;

5. Discuss substance use in an honest, caring environment, encouraging children to tell you if they are offered drugs;

6. Set clear limits around what behaviour is acceptable;

7. Be consistent in applying consequences if limits are broken;

8. Offer support and understanding, and stay in touch with your children emotionally;

9. Monitor yourself, being aware of how you may be making it easier for problems to continue, e.g. by not following up if their behaviour seems unusual;

10. Get support if you are concerned that there may be a problem – know where to get help and don’t be afraid to ask.

 

Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre

 

1 Roman Road, Observatory

021–4478026 - ctdcc@iafrica.com