Parents often ask me, “What’s the most important thing about raising drug-free kids?”
My answer to them is always the same: “YOU!”
Whether your child smokes, drinks, or uses drugs is more likely to be determined in your living room or over your kitchen table, than in any classroom or courtroom. I know that your job gets more challenging each year.
That’s why I’m excited to share with you that the new and updated edition of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents hit the shelves, Kindle and NOOK to help you do the most important job in the world. Whether your child is 9 or 19, your role as parent never ends. The conversations you have with your child, your engagement in their day-to-day lives, the will and skills you give them, and the values you instill in them, will make the biggest difference in keeping them away from drugs and alcohol.
Did you know that teenagers who learn about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are twice as likely never to try them? The new and updated edition of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid gives parents the latest research as well as user-friendly tips and strategies for how to start this conversation with your children and how to continue having it throughout that dangerous decade of 10 to 21. With brand new and expanded chapters, this updated edition is geared to help you tackle some of the many daunting obstacles facing parents and teens today, including: new drugs such as more powerful and available pot, synthetic marijuana (Spice), Molly, and e-cigarettes; the over-the-counter and prescription drug epidemic; the explosion of social media that often glorifies teen drinking and drugging; the rampant use of alcohol and drugs across college campuses; and the new scientific knowledge about the damaging effects of drugs and alcohol on the teen brain.
Parenting is an art, not a science. Being engaged in your children’s lives doesn’t require being a supermom or superdad. It simply means using your strengths and taking advantage of opportunities to be a good parent. This new and updated edition will give you the tools to create a relationship that will enable you to raise your children to be healthy and substance free, poised to develop their talents to the fullest. The benefits of such a relationship reach well beyond substance abuse prevention. But without this foundation, your lessons to say no to drugs and alcohol will be like trees falling in an empty forest: your children will not hear them, much less be influenced by them.
So this fall, as you’re heading into back-to-school mode and buying all of the necessary school supplies for the year ahead, be sure to pick up some parenting supplies of your own. Purchase the new and revised edition of my book, How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents, now and empower your child to choose not to use.
Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
Founder and Chair Emeritus of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA)
Former US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare