Guide to implementing family skills training programmes for drug abuse prevention
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME Vienna
UNITED NATIONS New York, 2009
Supportive families are essential to raising socially, mentally and physically healthy and well-adjusted children and preventing later adolescent problems. The challenges faced by many parents around the world as they try to provide for their families include balancing family and work life, juggling financial commitments, ensuring adequate support and social contacts and finding time for the family to be together. Sometimes parents struggle with substance abuse problems, which affects their parenting skills.
Factors such as a lack of security, trust and warmth in parent-child relationships, a lack of structure in family life and inappropriate discipline practices and insufficient limit-setting can render children at greater risk of problem behaviours and subsequent substance abuse and mental health disorders.Family skills training programmes have been found to be effective in preventing many of these risky behaviours, including substance abuse. Research findings confirm that skills training produces better results than do programmes that provide parents only with information about substances. Better yet, programmes including skills training for parents, children and families can be implemented from infancy through adolescence and have been shown to positively change family functioning and parenting in enduring ways. This results in healthier and more supportive environments in which children can grow and develop.