Substance misuse/abuse can have a wide range of negative effects on mental and physical health, including depression, anxiety, and chronic health problems. The skills to avoid drug use at an early age is a critical component of a healthy foundation and is an area that adults who are involved with children need to be proactive about.
Most youth will at some point be confronted with certain levels of peer pressure related to drug and alcohol use. Developing substance use refusal and resistance skills is crucial for young people to successfully navigate these challenges, bypass drug and alcohol use, addictions and other life-altering consequences that may ensue as a result of substance-affected behaviors or decisions.
Teach children techniques that they can use in any particular moment of pressure so that they are prepared in advance. These include:
In addition to techniques youth can use in a particular moment, there are also ways to instill and ensure stronger refusal and resistance skills in youth that can begin years before they may be confronted by a peer-pressure situation. These include characteristics and personal traits that parents, family and teachers can promote and support in children at every stage of development:
Below are some online resources for the classroom, for parents and for the community which educate about youth drug refusal and youth drug resistance skills: