Title:   Drug Proofing the Family
 Authors:   Erica Wittenberg & Jim Parker

 Publication Date:

  September 2003

 Catalog No:



This is a book about choices, about your choices for coping with substance abuse in your family and for stopping it before it starts -- or starts getting out of hand, if it's already started.

To most of us, the idea that our kids might do drugs is scary enough. But when you consider the kind of damage they could do to themselves -- or may already have done -- it gets worse. And our fears escalate further when we realize how little control we have over what they're exposed to these days, and the freedom they have to make mistakes.

Compounding the confusion, we're all constantly bombarded by the media with well-meaning (and even off-the-wall and contradictory) advice on parenting and tips for "coping" with our kids.

When it comes to the topic of drugs, suggestions range all the way from

  • 'Take a hard stand, and back it up!' to
  • 'Relax...and let them experiment. They'll grow out of it.'

The questions are complex and the answers aren't easy. What you ultimately choose as the best direction for your family will depend on the age of your children, your personal values, and the kind of relationship you have with your kids.

Some people argue that there's only one way to respond to chemical use by young people. We only wish it were that simple.

We know that parents have a number of alternatives they should consider carefully. We hope that in reading this booklet you'll come to your own conclusions and make your own decisions about the best options for "drug-proofing" your family.

Because you're the expert about your values and your kids. And you're the one (along with the other members of your family) who'll have to live with the consequences of your choices. Just like they will.

In the sections that follow, we'll talk about the interplay of parenting and preventing problems from as many perspectives as we can squeeze in this small a space. We'll consider some of the reasons kids do drugs and how the dynamics that contribute to drug abuse can be turned around.

We'll describe "drug-proofing" parenting techniques you can try in your home -- no matter how old your kids are -- and help clarify your options if your children are already involved with chemicals, at any level.

We'll also include perspectives from public figures on their values and beliefs about effective approaches to drug-proofing, and mix in some basic information on common drugs, so you can back up your opinions and values with real facts.

Outlining alternatives is our part. It's also the easy part of drug-proofing the family. The hard part is up to you.

But who told you it was supposed to be easy?

Continue to Chapter 2
Go to Table of Contents

This is one in a series of publications on drugs, behavior, and health by Do It Now Foundation. Check us out online at www.doitnow.org.