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Info for Parents Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Drug Education Begins at Home

Drug use is part of everyday life. Sometimes we forget that cough syrup, headache pills, alcohol and tobacco are drugs. Children learn about drugs in school, from other kids and on television, but what we do in our own homes is the beginning of drug education.

You are your children's most important teacher. Your words and actions help shape their ideas about alcohol and other drugs.

The first few years of life are important in building good values, self-esteem and the skills needed to prevent the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

We have to start talking with our children about all sorts of things, including drugs, when they're very young. We need to give them clear and consistent messages about what's expected of them. Children need rules and limits.

Children are naturally curious and should be encouraged to ask questions about what they see around them. We let our children know they're important when we listen carefully to their questions. Simple, direct answers often satisfy them.

Young children also learn by watching you and others. Has your child ever picked up a beer bottle, asked for a pill to feel better or pretended to smoke a cigarette? Children copy what they see. Think about your actions and what they may mean.

On this topic

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