Addiction prevention in New York State is based on a risk and protective factor framework. Protective factors for children and young adults include:
- Open communication with family members, teachers, and other adults in their lives
- A strong sense of family, positive experiences and role models; and
- The attitudes and conditions of their community.
Many small conversations are easier than one big talk. Find moments every day to connect and talk about substance use and addiction and listen to what kids have to say.
When questions arise, use it as a teaching moment. Educate yourself on substance use and addiction so you can respond with facts, rather than fear or judgment.
As children mature, so should your conversations. Talk about the dangers of substance use and gambling at every age and prepare them for real-life situations.