SPOTLIGHT: Orange County, CA Affiliate’s “Parent Toolkit”

SPOTLIGHT: Orange County, CA Affiliate’s “Parent Toolkit”

The National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence—Orange County in Lake Forest, CA has, among its major goals, to provide information, education, prevention, and referral in eliminating alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related problems in its community.

Studies have shown that teens who consistently learn about the risks of alcohol, marijuana and drugs from their parents are 50% less likely to use those substances.

To help carry out this goal, the Council has developed a “Parent Toolkit” which is a resource guide to help raise kids free of alcohol/other drug use. It includes a variety of items drawn from several sources.

One section is a list of Skill Sets that children need to guard against addiction which includes:

• Coping Skills
• Social Skills
• Life Skills
• Emotional Regulation Skills
• Critical Thinking Skills
• Distress Tolerance Skills

Another is a chart of The Resiliency Wheel with elements for Building Resiliency in the Environment and others for Mitigating Risk Factors in the Environment.

There also is a Fact Sheet on Preventing Teen Abuse of Prescription Drugs which includes reasons teens choose to use, risks associated, where and how teens get the drugs, and what parents can and should do to address the problem.

An Asset Checklist for Parents/Guardians and one for Youth: Each Checklist has 40 items to prompt conversation in families, organizations and communities. A suggestion is offered that both the young person and the parent/guardian complete the checklist and discuss any differences in responses.

The Toolkit includes a sample contract establishing rules about alcohol and drugs for teens and parents to sign. The following “Parent” questions are provided:

1. What was the best part of your day?
2. What did you do today to make someone happy?
3. Was there anything hard about your day?
4. Who did you spend time with today?
5. What do you think you could do better tomorrow?

Each question includes an explanation of why it is posed and what asking the question is likely to elicit from the child. It is the basis for discussions about the child’s moods, attitudes, interaction with their peers, how they may have dealt with problems and a host of others.

There are a few pages, adapted from the Partnership, dedicated to What to Say to Your 9 to 12 Year Old, 13 to 15 Year Old, or 16 to 18 Year Old, each offering assorted scenarios and suggestions for conversation openings. Another section deals with self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Also included are a series of questions and topics to generate conversation between parents and children, and a list of websites of various governmental agencies and organizations.

For more information:

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-Orange County
21068 Bake Parkway
Lake Forest, CA 92603

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