When all is said and done, preventing teen substance abuse is a Mom-and-Pop operation

June 17, 2007

A very interesting book, High Society by Joseph A. Califano, Jr., president and founder of CASA (Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse) at Columbia University. In his book there are a couple of paragraphs that I found to be very interesting and I want to share with you. In his book he states,

“When all is said and done, preventing teen substance abuse is a Mom-and-Pop operation. Parents cannot outsource their responsibility to law enforcement, public health agencies, schools and colleges. The fundamental obligation of those broader institutions is significant, but secondary. And while there is much room for improvement in curbing the availability of legal and illegal drugs to the nation’s children and teens and targeting public health campaigns, the reality is that such substances and many commonplace prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, as well as household products like aerosol cans and other inhalants–will always be within reach of kids seeking a high. That puts a premium on vesting children with the will and skills to say no, and parents a uniquely positioned to do this.

Parent powers is the most potent, the least appreciated and the most underutilized resource we have in the struggle to raise children free of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. When the mothers and fathers appreciate their potential to influence their teens- and use it firmly and sensitively- we will have taken a giant leap to turn back this scourge that has destroyed so many children and brought grief to so many families and friends. The front line for Americas drug problem is not in legislative hearing rooms or courtroom run by politicians and judges. It is in living rooms and dining rooms, and across kitchen tables, in the hands of parents and families.”

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