Dornzella Milligan, MA, CPP
District Student Support Services
(845) 353-7134 or extension 7581
Click below for PREVENTION INFORMATION & RESOURCES - Please note information and/or resources listed are not an endorsement of an organization or affiliate.
ACCEPT PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE, FACE THEM WHERE THEY BELONG
You attract people who love, respect and appreciate your energy.
Everything starts with how you feel about yourself.
Start feeling worthy, valuable and deserving of receiving the best that life has to offer.
A STATEMENT FROM OUR COMMUNITY AGAINST DRUG ABUSE (OCADA) COALITION
OCADA Coalition understands the importance of community. We believe that all of life is interconnected; whatever affects one directly, affects us all indirectly. Accordingly, we respectfully acknowledge that no one is immune to the challenges of raising children and keeping them safe during the challenging years into adulthood. We stand firmly in our mission to work together to protect our youth, to foster a safe community and build a network for providing information, raising awareness, support without judgement and change. Please feel free to contact us for shared support and resources.
For information about OCADA Coalition visit:
LESSONS LEARNED from COVID-19 can be helpful in SUBSTANCE USE PREVENTION
One of things that we are learning in the thrust of the COVID-19 pandemic is how important it is to create a healthy balance. As our children move towards their independence in various stages during this time we have added another measure of health and safety that as parents we must teach and model. The new practices that we have developed can also help to protect our children from the risk of substance use.
We have had to find a balance between our need to protect our children and allowing them their independence to meet their social needs. We know that one infallible way to keep them from contracting or transmitting the virus is complete isolation. We are also aware that it may be an unrealistic approach for long periods of time for a variety of reasons. However, we don’t want their emotional and social needs to suffer while ensuring their physical health. Similarly, there is no absolute way to keep our youth from completely being safe from the harms of substance use unless we develop some protocols.
Hence many of the tools we are using during the pandemic can also be applied for substance prevention. For one, we are well informed and practice many of the factors that lessen the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus. Examples include wearing a face mask that fully covers your nose and mouth, washing our hands, social distancing, making sure indoor spaces have ventilation and avoiding crowds when possible. Similarly, we can become well informed about the risk factors for substance use and create protocols to assist in helping our children.
Here are a few guidelines:
- Learn and help youth to understand about pre-existing conditions that may affect them if they use. Examples include effects or counteractions of medications that may already be prescribed; if there is a family history of addiction; and the effects of using nicotine, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
- Discuss how to protect themselves in situations of use. Examples include being aware of your surroundings; being clear about what was decided together regarding responsible/acceptable behavior; what to do if use is encouraged; and what to do if someone experiences alcohol poisoning or overdose.
- Foster a trusting relationship that includes open and calm communication. More than likely you have emphasized that the rules and restrictions related to COVID-19 are based in love and care rather than a desire to control. Use the same method to communicate to youth regarding substance use prevention. Include space for questions and answers; make sure you have the facts; discuss the dangers of use to mask feelings of stress and anxiety and include some other alternatives, perhaps mindfulness techniques.
- Lastly, respond to slips up with guidance and reasonable consequences not punishment. Similar to when your youth does not follow the COVID-19 guidelines, respond by reiterating and reinforcing the protocols, safety measures and acceptable behaviors you discussed.
Wishing everyone, PEACE, JOY, HAPPINESS, GOOD HEALTH, POSITIVE VIBES OF ABUNDANCE!
Additional information and resources are available at Rockland Council on Alcoholism & Other Drug Dependence (https://www.rcadd.org/home-rockland-council-alcoholism-drug-dependence-rcadd-org-2/recovery-support-services-rockland-council-alcoholism-drug-dependence-rcadd-org-2/ ).
This article was abridged from drugfree.org
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT?