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The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Archives of the National Institute on Drug Abuse web site
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Here are two things for parents and kids to do together in order to learn how not to harm themselves with drugs.


Encourage your child to pursue his or her own interests and hobbies as an alternative to turning to drugs as a way to feel good and avoid being bored or lonely. First, talk with your child to find out why they think people use drugs (to avoid stress, because of peer pressure, to have fun). Then ask what kinds of things could people do to feel happy and productive without needing to turn to drugs. Sports, music, drama and hobbies are very good answers. Work together to help your child come up with three positive actions to do, such as starting a hobby, joining a sports team, or learning to play a musical instrument. Encourage your child to share his or her hobby with friends and classmates during a hobby day at school.
School Children Graphic


What are they really saying? GOAL: To see the hidden messages in cigarette advertising. With your child, collect some cigarette ads from magazines, or check out the billboards along the roadside while traveling. Write down words to describe the people shown in the ads, and the enviroments they are in. (Cigarette ads usually depict attractive people in clean, appealing settings.) Then, the next time you visit a mall, fast food restaurant, or other public space, sit with your child and politely observe passersby. Have your child identify people smoking. Talk about what he or she sees. Are all of the smokers glamorous or macho? How are the ads different from real life? Talk about what the tobacco ads are really showing. Discuss how some advertising works by showing people images of what they want to be like. Then, using what your child has learned about tobacco, create your own ads to show the reality of cigarette smoking, and how it affects appearance, breath, athletic ability, and long-term health.

National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
1.800-729-6686 or
1-800-487-4889 (TDD)

Smoking, Tobacco, and Health Information Line

National Mental Heatlth Services Knowledge Exchange Network
1-800-789-2647 or
301-443-9006 (TTY)

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