Talk to your
children about the effects of alcohol and drugs. Children are less likely to
use alcohol or other drugs if their parents teach them early (during the
elementary school years) about the effects of alcohol and drugs. Set a good
example for your children by not abusing alcohol or using
Encourage your teenager to avoid alcohol and drugs. Drinking
alcohol or using drugs during the teen years can harm growth and development. It can
also cause some teens to develop substance abuse problems later in life. Drug
use in this age group increases the chance that your teen will be involved in
crime, high-risk sexual behavior, accidents, and injuries.
nonalcoholic beverages at parties and meals. Don't give your children the
impression that you have to have alcohol to have a good time as an
Cut down on your drinking. Safe levels are: less than 2
drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. One drink is
12 fl oz (360 mL) of beer,
5 fl oz (150 mL) of wine, or
1.5 fl oz (45 mL) of hard
liquor. Do not drink every day. See the topic Drinking and Your Health.
Look for signs of mental
stress. Try to understand and resolve sources of
anxiety, or loneliness. Don't use alcohol or drugs to
deal with these problems.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor whether any of your current medicines can cause dependence.
Be especially aware of pain medicines,
tranquilizers, sedatives, and sleeping pills. Follow the instructions carefully,
and do not take more than the recommended dose.
Make sure that your
doctors are aware of medicines prescribed by another doctor. Use only one pharmacy when getting your prescriptions
Do not regularly use medicines to sleep, lose
weight, or relax. Seek nondrug solutions.
Do not suddenly stop
taking any medicine without your doctor's supervision.
Do not drink alcohol when you are taking medicines. Alcohol can
react with many medicines and cause serious complications.
smoke or use other tobacco products. Many people relate tobacco use to alcohol
and drug use. For more information, see the topic