New Revised and Updated Guide For Parents: 'How To Raise A Drug-Free Kid - The Straight Dope For Parents'

New Revised and Updated Guide For Parents: 'How To Raise A Drug-Free Kid - The Straight Dope For Parents'

In an age when drugs are so easily available, from grade school to college and beyond, parents need to do everything they can to keep their kids safe. A completely revised and updated edition of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid - The Straight Dope For Parents, will be released in September 2014. The acclaimed guide, for moms and dads from all walks of life, addresses that “dangerous decade” from 10 to 21, the formative pre-teen, teen, and college years when the decisions kids make about substance use and abuse are most important. The author is Joseph A. Califano Jr., founder and former Chairman of Board of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia), who brings both his 20-plus years of experience in the field of substance abuse, and experience as a father who raised five children of his own through the drug-infused ‘60s and beyond. Substance-related accidents, dependence, addiction, and needless, tragic deaths from drug and alcohol overdoses among America’s young people have reached levels never even imagined only a decade ago.

Parents have never needed workable advice more than they do now. The publisher’s blurb says, “Nearly every child will be offered drugs or alcohol before graduating high school. The good news is that a child who gets to age 21 without smoking, using illegal drugs, or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so...and kids who learn about drugs from their parents are much likelier to resist these temptations.” On the flip side, statistics show that the vast majority of adult substance abusers used drugs and alcohol as teens, or even pre-teens. The data strongly suggests that avoidance of addictive substances until adulthood is powerful insurance against becoming dependent or addicted as an adult.

Teenagers who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents, Califano says, are twice as likely never to try them. And parents are the best, most positive influences in such decision-making, even with teenaged kids. Califano shows parents how to exercise what he called “Parent Power” to connect with their kids to tell them about the temptations, effects and dangers of nicotine, alcohol, prescription drugs and illicit drugs. Califano explains how to spot and take advantage of those brief opportunities to get into communication with your kids. He also explains which actions work and which ones don’t, and advises parents to avoid setting the worst possible example – drinking and using drugs in front of your kids. He draws on interactions with thousands of parents and answers all the questions he received at his speaking engagements across the country, such as:

  • When and how should I talk to my child about drugs and alcohol?
  • Under what circumstances is my child most at risk?
  • How to respond when your kid asks, "Did you do drugs?"
  • How do binge drinking and marijuana use threaten the development of my teen’s brain?
  • How can I help my child handle the glamorization of drinking and drug use on social media, music, television, and the internet?
  • How do I help my child deal with the rampant drinking and drug use perils on college campuses?

Califano is the former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under the Carter administration. Before that, he served in numerous senior government positions for the Department of Defense during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and became Special Assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, serving as LBJ’s top domestic aide until the end of Johnson’s term. He has been Adjunct Professor of Public Health (Health Policy and Management) at Columbia University Medical School (Department of Psychiatry) and School of Public Health and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. ‘Judge Judy’ Sheindlin says of the book: “This should be required reading for every parent of a child. Addiction has claimed the children of too many.

Having the information and maintaining parental vigilance is a great start. The tools are found between the covers of this well-crafted book.” Jamie Lee Curtis, mother, actress, and author of children’s books, also gives it a good review: “This wonderful book will help you answer some tough questions and give you a roadmap for tackling one of the hardest tasks as a parent.” And there’s a terrific review from Library Journal: “The author seems to peer under every rock and pebble to help parents understand which kids are most at risk, when the risks are highest, how to combat the issue, and more. From specific information about individual drugs to how to recognize abuse and seek treatment, this title is the 'Bible' on kids and substance abuse.”

Here at Novus we strive to help our patients recover their lives, free from dependence on drugs and alcohol. And we’re thrilled when they talk about the positive effects that their sobriety will have with their families, especially when there are kids involved. If you or someone you know has a problem with substance abuse, don’t hesitate to call. We’re always here and ready to help.

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