Drug And Alcohol Prevention - The Importance Of Honesty

For more than 50 years, fear has been the world's number one drug and alcohol prevention tool. Parents, teachers, and other authority figures let kids know that if they so much as looked at a can of beer, they would be grounded, suspended, suffer a grave illness, or even die. Of course, these often over-the-top threats have never been particularly effective. Instead of preventing kids from drinking or doing drugs, the fear of being caught only caused them to hide their activities.

Honesty As A Drug And Alcohol Prevention Tool

Honesty As A Drug And Alcohol Prevention ToolFor youth motivational speaker, Joel Penton, honesty and openness are much more powerful drug and alcohol prevention tools than fear. While threats are likely to be simply ignored, conversations about the reality of drugs and alcohol are much more likely to actually get through to kids and teenagers. Even more importantly, an honest approach to drug and alcohol prevention will make kids less likely to hide their problems.

But what exactly does an open conversation about drugs and alcohol actually look like? Though it will vary slightly from case to case, it will generally involve an adult asking questions such as:

  • Have you ever been interested in trying any drugs or alcohol?
  • Have you ever been offered any drugs or alcohol? If so, did you accept?
  • Do your friends use drugs or alcohol around you?
  • Do you feel comfortable speaking to me about drugs and alcohol? If not, is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable?
  • How do you think the use of drugs or alcohol might impact your chances of reaching your goals in life?
  • How can we create a plan that will help to keep you on the right track?

Throughout the conversation, it is important for the adult to remind the child that they are proud of them for their honesty and that there are no wrong answers. Under no circumstances should the adult ever raise their voice, get angry, or become accusatory.

Afterward, it is important to give the child to ask some questions. It is vital that the adult answers honestly and openly. The questions will usually be similar to the following examples:

  • Have you ever used drugs or alcohol? If so, what have you used? If not, were you ever tempted to use them?
  • How has the use of drugs or alcohol impacted your life?
  • Would you be angry if you found out that I used drugs or alcohol?
  • What should I do if I am ever around drugs or alcohol in a situation that makes me feel uncomfortable?
  • Can I come to you if I have any questions about drugs or alcohol later?

Drug And Alcohol Prevention - The Importance Of HonestyBy speaking openly and honestly, the adult and the child can come together to create an environment that drug and alcohol prevention can thrive in. Neither party will need to worry that the other is hiding anything or doing anything secretive. For Joel, there is perhaps no better way to keep kids on the right path than through straightforward conversation. Contact us today to have Joel speak at your school!


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