Freedom from Chemical Dependency

Next week a prevention specialist from the US based ‘Freedom from Chemical Dependency’ (FCD) Educational Services will, once again, be visiting our school. We are very pleased to offer this opportunity to students and families as part of our health education programme. In addition to meeting with students and faculty, we have arranged a session for parents of students in Grades 6-12. Discussions held in this session will explain the development factors of addiction and address parental involvement and influence in the prevention of substance abuse.

FCD Prevention Specialists are highly trained professionals who have achieved long-term recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. This unique perspective enhances the credibility of their message and provides students with role models for happy, healthy, drug-free living.

The dilemma that faces parents and teachers today is how to educate children about substance addiction in a world where popular culture has desensitized the younger generation to the impact of drugs, chemical addiction and dependency. There is no set formula for having conversations around drug and alcohol dependency; you might want to consider the following.

1- Get the facts
There are a lot of myths about alcohol and other drugs. Use evidence-based sources to give your child the most accurate information.

2- Be clear in your beliefs
Based on the evidence, clarify your view of alcohol and other drugs. For example, it’s up to you whether your child drinks or not, but evidence indicates that parental monitoring and family rules about alcohol do reduce the likelihood of young people drinking.

3- Look for opportunities to start the conversation
Keep the conversation relaxed. Use relevant topics on the TV or radio and events as an opportunity to talk about alcohol and other drugs. It’s best to start talking about these issues early. It’s never too early, and there is no limit to the number of conversations you can have.

4- Ask questions
Find out your child’s views about alcohol and other drugs. Talk about what they would do in different situations.

5- Make sure they understand the harms
Make sure your child has the right information about alcohol and other drugs and correct any myths. Talk about the benefits as well as the harms of different drugs and why someone might use them. Don’t exaggerate the harms as it will make you sound less credible.

6- Set rules and consequences
Explain your views on alcohol and other drugs and use the facts to back them up. Let your child know your rules and the consequences for breaking them.

Some of the topics addressed in the parent session will include an elaboration upon the ideas raised above.

As an ISBerne Parent, If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

Kind regards
Scott Jackson

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