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“We never dreamed this would happen to our family.”

Those were the exact words of Carol and Robert as they told me about their son who was a leader in his church youth group and until recently a very good student.

Sometimes really good parents have kids who still make really poor choices. In this case, their son, Bobby, had been caught not only smoking pot but selling it at school. Come to find out, Bobby had been dabbling with other drugs as well. Hindsight is always easier than foresight and now the parents were kicking themselves for not seeing the warning signs and for really never having a drug-proof plan for their family. Carol and Robert are definitely not alone. Far too many families have not been proactive enough with their kids in developing a prevention guide and an intervention plan.

The Drug-Proof Plan

Although there are no surefire plans out there, it is important for parents to get their arms against this ever-present possibility of a son or daughter getting caught up in the world of drug and alcohol abuse.

Here are seven ingredients for prevention and intervention.

  1. Education: Teach your kids the facts about alcohol and drug abuse.
  2. Prevention: Use both positive and negative reinforcements to motivate your child to make the decision to abstain.
  3. Identification: Learn to identify the signs of drug and alcohol use and abuse. If your child uses, be the first to know.
  4. Intervention: If you discover your child has a problem, act immediately to intervene. Early intervention can keep a crisis from happening.
  5. Treatment: Find the resources that best fit your situation and uphold the values of your faith and family.
  6. Supportive Follow up: Prevent relapse by becoming an active participant in your child’s recovery.
  7. Self-Evaluation: Examine your own involvement with alcohol and drugs. Solve your problem before you try to help your child.

Although it wasn’t easy, Carol and Robert immediately sought assistance with Bobby’s situation. With God’s help, great resource people and a willingness on Bobby’s part to become clean sober, today the family is in a much better place. Good thing Easter is a season because sometimes resurrections take time.

Jim Burns
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