Preventing Alcohol Abuse

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Understanding Addiction

Alcohol prevention should start early in life.

At young age, you can begin talking about preventing alcoholism. At this time, you can also begin to talk to children about living a healthy lifestyle. Talk to them about making healthy life choices. Teach them to choose to eat healthy, cross the street safely or other ways to live healthy. These concepts begin to set the stage for healthy living and build a foundation to talk about consuming alcohol. You can also teach a child about taking responsibility for himself at this age. Teaching your child to stay away from hazardous materials inside the home, such as household cleaning products, paint or other hazardous materials, help instill the dangers of of unhealthy choices. Furthermore, help them deal with stress appropriately, so they will be less likely to use alcohol to cope in the future. A foundation for alcohol prevention can be established as young as two years old.

Around the age of five, children become more curious and begin asking more questions, and their ability to comprehend increases as well. Even at this young age, you can speak to them about the factual information as well as the consequences that correspond with using alcohol. They also are beginning to be able to understand the consequences of others who use alcohol. It is also important to continue to teach them proper ways to relieve stress, so they are have appropriate methods to deal with their stress in the future as opposed to turning to alcohol.  Also, at this age, you can begin to teach them about removing themselves from situations that make them feel uncomfortable. By teaching them this mechanism, it will help them be able to leave situations involving alcohol easier in the future. Keep your children away from activities that promote alcohol use and help them get involved with activities that promote a healthy lifestyle as well. These activities will help your child develop prevention methods at a young age.

Starting at about age of nine, children begin learning new things about life. Even in childhood, it is important to set rules and boundaries for youngsters, which also includes setting rules about alcohol usage. It is also important to build up a preteen’s self-esteem. This age can be tough and confusing, so the more you can build up their self-esteem, the healthier and happier they will feel about themselves and the less likely they will be to turn to alcohol in the coming years. Continue to teach your child the facts about alcohol. Trying to scare them into not using alcohol typically proves ineffective. Knowing the facts helps them make educated decisions rather than basing decisions off of fear. Furthermore, be involved in your preteen’s life. Get to know their friends and where they are hanging out. Make sure their friends are giving them the same messages about alcohol as you. It is important to be involved in your child’s life at this time.

At age thirteen, the dawn of the teenage year, it is important to aid youth in making positive decisions about their life. It is also important to keep your eyes open at this age for warning signs of alcohol use. The onset of alcohol use typically begins during the teenage years, so it is important to talk to your young one about alcohol usage, but, make sure to talk factually and not judgmentally in order to maintain their respect and trust.

Around sixteen, when youngsters start driving, it becomes much harder to prevent alcohol usage because they have gained more independence. However, at this stage, you can talk more directly about alcohol use with them. You can also use everyday encounters, such as movies and news reports to talk to your child about alcohol usage. If you see examples of alcohol use in any of these forums, use them as an opportunity to discuss the topic with your adolescent.  If it is too hard for your child to talk to you about the pressures of alcohol use, encourage her to find another adult whom she feels comfortable talking with about these topics. Talk openly with your child about alcohol and it’s consequences, but, if she is uncomfortable talking with you, find someone she can talk to about this topic.

After you child turns nineteen and becomes an adult, it is much harder for you to influence his choices in life. However,if you talk to them before this age, research shows he will be less likely to develop a drinking problem in college. However, at this age, it is also important to keep open communication with your child. If you lovingly communicate with your child at this age, he will likely come to you when he is dealing with an issue, which might include pressures to use alcohol. Remember to allow your young adult to make his own decisions while keeping the lines of communication open, so he will feel comfortable coming to you when he is dealing with a problem.

As with children, the best way to prevent alcohol use in adults is by conversing about the topic. Talking about alcohol prevention at any age is the most effective ways to prevent alcohol abuse. Listening when others are talking about their struggles with alcohol is another effective way to prevent alcohol abuse. Being a good example for your friends, family and children is an additional way to help others avoid alcohol use. If you do not use them, others will have a greater chance of abstaining from them while they are around you too. Having good relationships, open communication and listening are all great ways to help friends, family members and your children refrain from using alcohol.

 

The best approach to prevent alcohol addiction is to not use alcohol, but these other tips should aid prevention as well.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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