Strong parent-child bond can avert substance abuse

(PIA) —  Parents should uphold strong family bond with their children to prevent substance abuse among young people.

Dr. Therese Castañeda, psychiatrist at the Pototan Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, said that parents are the first line of defense for children to avert drug or alcohol abuse.

“Parents should know what their children’s hobbies are, their likes, in order to maintain that open communication,” she said.

She said that parents should also set as good examples to show their children how to act responsibly.

“As a parent, your attitude toward alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs is one of the greatest influences on whether your child will use cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol,” she said.

On one hand, findings from the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4) by the Demographic Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (DRDF) and the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) show that the levels of drug use, drinking alcohol and smoking among young people aged 15-24 declined.

The declining pattern is found in the practices of both young men and women, as well as in younger and older youth.

Meanwhile, Castañeda said that parents should also be wary of symptoms of teen substance abuse.

“They should know what to look for including negative changes in school work, missing school or declining grades, and increased secrecy about possessions or activities,” she stressed.

She said that teens also use incense room deodorant or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors when they are into substance abuse.

“Parents could also notice subtle changes among teenagers in their conversations with friends such as being more secretive and are using coded language,” she said.

She added that teenagers may also have new friends, change their clothing choices which reflect new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use. (JCM/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)