Family Works: Speaking on drug prevention
by By ROB COOMBS ID. Min. Ph.D.
May 05, 2013 | 1162 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The war against drugs won’t be won on a national or even the international level. The billions of dollars already spent to stop world drug trade has hardly made a dent in what is now one of the three leading financial markets in the world. (In case you are wondering, the other two are petroleum and weapons.) If this war is to be won, it must be won one home at a time, one family at time. Although these victories may seem small, therein lies our hope.

Homes that are already losing the war on drugs most often — but not always — share a number of common traits. In 80 percent of families where drug use is an issue, you will also find several noteworthy factors:

(1) Dysfunction: A significant level of dysfunction where maladaptive patterns of behavior are the norm. In others, families persist in behaviors that simply don’t work.

(2) Low Self-Esteem: Family members have low self-esteems and therefore view themselves negatively. Life becomes a series of problems that are viewed as overwhelming, thus encouraging an escape into the world of drugs.

(3) Negative Friendships: Understandably, when individuals are struggling, they tend to seek out others who share common issues. Drug use becomes a norm in such settings making it seem like “everyone is doing it.”

(4) Arrested Development: Habitual use of drugs retards emotional development. This results in individuals becoming less and less capable of meeting the daily challenges of life which fuels a return to drugs.

(5) Poverty: Poverty continues to be a significant prediction. Many who live in poverty find themselves depressed with little hope for a better future. Drugs can and do bring temporary relief.

(6) Disruption: Family disruption, especially divorce, creates instability and makes drug use more likely.

(7) Failure: Failure, in school, at work, with friends, often encourages a retreat into drugs.

(8) Absence of Faith: Lack of faith plus a lack of involvement with those who have faith.

Homes that are winning the war on drugs — but not always — share a number of common traits. In 80 percent of families where drug use isn’t happening you will also find several noteworthy factors:

(1) Functional Family: First and foremost, the single best way to do your part in winning the war against drugs is rearing your children in a loving, functional family where feelings are easily expressed, caring is common, and understanding is the norm. For such families, this translates into family members participating in activities that help make daily life more functional.

(2) Individuality: Individuality is not only tolerated, but appreciated. Knowing that you are loved for who you are rather than who others want you to be, encourages the development of a healthy and positive self-esteem. Such a person has little need for substances that abuse both body and soul. Also, for such individuals it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. They do what they want.

(3) High Self-Esteem: Life is viewed as a series of challenges rather than a series of problems. As individuals confront and deal with the realities of life without the aid of a drug(s), they build a strength of character that gives them the confidence to master the developmental tasks necessary for continued maturation.

(4) Accomplishment: Both school and work involvement tends to be with others who are not using drugs in order to cope. This fuels a sense of accomplishment from successes in school, work, sports, and/or other endeavors.

(5) Modeling: Adult role models (including parents) tend to be those who are not using drugs.

(6) Service: Individuals demonstrate a high level of commitment to both the rules of a community and the service to a community.

(7) Hope: There is the presence of a plan for the here and now that gives them hope and a better ability to cope.

(8) Faith: Faith plus regular involvement with those who have faith is the norm.