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Prevention Presents: Family Check-Up

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Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse 
Deirdre Washington, M.Ed., OCPSI 
Manager, Prevention Education

Parenting. What can you say? It is by far one of the most difficult but rewarding jobs one can have. When I reflect on what I feel my parents had to deal with in raising me to a responsible contributing member of society, I wonder if they had it as hard as I feel parents do today. The truth is, every generation brings with its own unique set of trials and tribulations. Not only are parents raising their kids, but we have had an increase in grandparents, aunts, uncles and even siblings raising the next generation. With such changes in family dynamics, and in an age where technology often babysits and replaces old school friendships, it is vital more than ever to have open and honest talks with young people about substance use and abuse. This is an era where kids can order drugs online and with social media personalities sharing how to use and even make your own drugs. It’s time for a “Family Checkup.”

Research supported by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) shows that parents play a significant role in preventing their children from starting to use drugs. The following five questions, developed by the Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon, highlight parenting skills that are important in preventing the initiation and progression of drug use among youth. 

  1. Are you able to communicate calmly and clearly with your teenager regarding relationship problems?
  2. Do you encourage positive behaviors in your teenager on a daily basis?
  3. Are you able to negotiate emotional conflicts with your teenager and work toward a solution?
  4. Are you able to calmly set limits when your teenager is defiant or disrespectful? Are you able to set limits on more serious problem behavior such as drug use, if or when it occurs?
  5. Do you monitor your teenager to assure that he or she does not spend too much unsupervised time with peers?

To learn more about resources available to develop and support these parenting skills visit https://www.drugabuse.gov/family-checkup. Each question above is accompanied by video clips demonstrating both effective and ineffective examples of the skill.

If you are experiencing more challenging issues with your child please contact Harbor at 419-475-4449 to see how we can help.


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Teens & Prescription Drug Abuse 
Donna Bacon, M.Ed., LSC
Prevention Education Specialist 



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