As part of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) launched a new online tool for parents to use with their families in an effort to prevent drug abuse. Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse is based on research results from NIDA that highlight the essential role parents play in teaching their families about the consequences of the use and abuse of substances including tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.
The Family Checkup, hosted on NIDA’s website, provides questions that guide parents through five skills beginning with communication, then encouragement, negotiation, setting limits, and supervision. Each question, developed by the Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon, presents the skill by first explaining its importance.
Each skill is accompanied by a video demonstrating both a positive and negative example of the skill in action along with suggestions for parents on how to communicate with young people. The information is also available for download as a PDF.
This type of early intervention does a great deal to mitigate the potential for substance abuse and addiction among teens and young adults. By providing accurate information about the risks of substance abuse and addiction, and through practicing positive communication skills, parents can help prevent drug use during the critical teenage years.