Saving your Child from Substance Abuse

How to save your children from substance abuse!

Which are the RISK and PROTECTIVE factors?

Research from the past 20 years has tried to determine how drug abuse begins and how it can become a problem. Many factors can add to a person’s risk for drug abuse. Some factors can increase a person’s chances for drug abuse, while other factors can reduce the risk. However, that most individuals at risk for drug abuse do not start using drugs or become addicted. Also, a risk factor for one person may not be the same for someone else.

Risk and protective factors can affect children at different moments of their lives. At each stage, risks occur that can be changed through early intervention and talking with your children. Early childhood risks, such as aggressive behavior, can be changed or prevented with family, school, that focus on helping children develop appropriate, positive behaviors. If not addressed, negative behaviors can lead to more risks such as academic failure and social disorders which put children at further risk for later drug abuse.

Signs and Risk that will lead to later Substance Abuse?

Some signs of risk can be seen as early as infancy such as aggressive behavior, lack of self-control, or difficult temperament. As the child gets older, interactions with family, at school, and within the community can affect that child and put him or her at risk for abusing drugs.

Children’s earliest interactions occur in the family; sometimes family situations heighten a child’s risk for later drug abuse, for example, when there is:

a lack of attachment and nurturing by parents or caregivers; ineffective parenting; and a caregiver who abuses drugs.

But families can help prevent this by having: a strong bond between children and parents;

parental involvement in the child’s life; and

clear limits and consistent enforcement of discipline.

Outside Factors include:

poor classroom behavior or social skills;

academic failure; and association with drug-abusing peers.

Association with drug-abusing peers is often the most immediate risk for exposing adolescents to drug abuse and delinquent behavior.

What stressors lead to  the highest risk  for starting drug abuse among youth?

Research has shown that the important time for drug abuse are during major transitions in a child’s life. The first big transition for children is when they leave the security of the family and enter school. Later, when they advance from elementary school to middle school, they often experience new academic and social situations, such as learning to get along with a wider group of friends. During the beginning of adolescence is when most drug use begins.

When they enter high school adolescents face additional social stressors that might force them to decide to take drugs. At the same time, they may be exposed to greater availability of drugs, drug abusers, and social activities involving drugs. These can increase the risk that they will abuse alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.

When young adults leave home for college or work and are on their own for the first time, their risk for drug and alcohol abuse is very high. Consequently, young adult interventions are needed as well.

Because risks appear at every life transition, prevention planners need to choose programs that strengthen protective factors at each stage of development.

When they  start to use drugs and how it progress?

Studies such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, formally called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, indicate that some children are already abusing drugs at age 12 or 13, which likely means that some begin even earlier. Early abuse often includes such substances as tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, and prescription drugs such as sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medicines. If drug abuse persists into later adolescence, abusers typically become more heavily involved with marijuana and then advance to other drugs, while continuing their abuse of tobacco and alcohol. Studies have also shown that abuse of drugs in late childhood and early adolescence is associated with greater drug involvement. It is important to note that most youth, however, do not progress to abusing other drugs.

Scientists have proposed various explanations of why some individuals become involved with drugs and then escalate to abuse. One explanation points to a biological cause, such as having a family history of drug or alcohol abuse. Another explanation is that abusing drugs can lead to affiliation with drug-abusing peers, which, in turn, exposes the individual to other drugs.

Mercy Behavioral Center Helping with Substance Abuse

Come to Mercy Behavioral Center in Hialeah Florida, for help. We work to serve, not only the South Florida Community but anyone in need. If your Child has an addiction, or substance abuse problem, then contact us, know there is help available right in your community.

We welcome you to learn more about Mercy Behavioral Center, a for profit mental health care provider. Providing mental health services, drug addiction treatment, therapy, psychology, medication management, family therapy, individual therapy, and more mental health related care to the cities of Miami and Hialeah. Our address is 705 east 8th avenue, Hialeah, Florida 33010.

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