Talking to Your Child Drug and Alcohol Awareness

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Drug and Alcohol Awareness Talking to Your Child

As a parent, you must start talking to your child early and often about substance use. Children are hearing about substance use on a regular basis from TV, radio, magazines, and their peers. If you don’t talk to your child and answer their questions, they will get their "

facts

" from someone else. This is the perfect opportunity to educate your child and impress upon them your personal values and morals. You are also arming your child with the ability to make a positive decision about alcohol or drug use.

Why do kids try drugs/alcohol?

• They are curious. • • • • They want to fit in. They want to have fun and feel good. They are a risk taker. They want to imitate other people. • They want to escape from their life.

What can you do to change their mind about trying drugs/alcohol?

• Give them the facts about drugs and what they do to the body. • • • • • Teach them social skills. Encourage a healthy lifestyle. Teach them to make responsible decisions. Discuss with them why the media glamorizes drugs and alcohol use. Set rules.

What you need to know about drug/alcohol use?

• Alcohol use can impair the parts of the brain that control; o o o o Motor coordination – ability to walk, drive, and process information Impulse control – lowers inhibitions Memory – poor recollection and even blackouts Judgment and decision making – leads to risky behavior that can result in illness, injury and even death

What are the risk factors for using drugs/alcohol?

• • • Increase in aggressive behavior. Increase in sexual behavior. Academic problems and truancy. • • Nerve to try harder drugs. Make poor decisions. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department - Crime Prevention 601 East Trade Street Charlotte, NC 28202 For more information, visit www.cmpd.org

or call us at 704.336.2310

Set Clear Rules about Drug/Alcohol Use.

• •

Be Specific

. Tell your child what the law is, what your household rules are and what behavior you expect.

Be Consistent

. Make sure child understands that the rules apply at all times, even • when at a friend’s house.

Be Reasonable

. Don’t change the rules in mid-stream or add new consequences without talking to your child. Avoid unrealistic threats. • •

How can you tell if your child is using drugs/alcohol?

• Change in mood – more irritable, secretive, withdrawn, overly sensitive, • • inappropriately angry, etc. Less responsible – late coming home, late for school, fail to go to their job, etc. Change in friends and lifestyle – new interests, unexplained need for money, cannot • •

Recognize Good Behavior

. Always let your child know how pleased you are when they respect the rules.

Put in into Practice

. Write out the most important family rules and post them where they can be seen often. Review the rules regularly with your family. prove where they have spent their money, etc. Difficult to communicate with – refuse to talk about their change in behavior, become defensive when asked about drug/alcohol use, avoid coming in contact with family members, etc. Show physical deterioration – memory loss, weight loss, difficultly concentrating, change in appetite, etc. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department - Crime Prevention 601 East Trade Street Charlotte, NC 28202 For more information, visit www.cmpd.org

or call us at 704.336.2310

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