Sunday, March 9, 2008

Is Your Child at Risk for Drug Use? Take this Quiz

1. Have you neglected to talk with your child in age specific language on a consistent basis (at least monthly) beginning in their preschool years, about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use? ___ Yes ___ No.

2. Have you neglected to use interactive techniques like role-playing and peer discussion when talking to your child about drugs? ___ Yes ___ No.

3. Did you miss the opportunities to talk to your child about drug and alcohol abuse during critical transition times in their life (before entering school, going from elementary to middle school, middle school to junior high and high school to college? ___ Yes ___ No.

4. Has your child had problems with social skills (“fitting in”) in elementary school? ___ Yes ___ No.

5. Have you neglected to focus on strengthening family bonding (family outings, family dinners, etc.)? ___ Yes ___ No.

6. Have you neglected to prepare your junior high or high school student with resistance skills training? ___ Yes ___ No.

7. Does you child get bored easily and/or have a problem dealing with boredom? ___ Yes ___ No.

8. Is your child genetically at risk for drug or alcohol addiction (is there a history of drug/alcohol abuse within the family?) ___ Yes ___ No.

9. Does your child have problems in dealing with negative emotions such as anger or sadness? ___ Yes ___ No.

10. Does your child act out with yelling, sarcasm or physical reactions when he is angry? ___ Yes ___ No.

11. Does your child try hard to fit in, agreeing with whatever's said even if she doesn't agree -- or tries to copy or mirror the person who seems like the leader of the group? ___ Yes ___ No.

12. Does your child have a problem with poor academic performance?
___ Yes ___ No.

13. Does your child struggle with most things and rarely feels a sense of success or accomplishment? ___ Yes ___ No.

14. Has your child had to deal with negative school experiences (bullying, threats, or being a victim of violence)? ___ Yes ___ No.

15. Is your child someone who has few friends? ___ Yes ___ No.

16. Has your child experienced exposure to emotional or physical abuse; significant grief, personal loss, shame, or trauma? ___ Yes ___ No.

17. Does your child suffer from personal identity problems, including low self-esteem, gender concerns, or cultural/ethnic identity issues? ___ Yes ___ No.

18. Does your child have trouble with communication, decision-making, or goal setting? ___ Yes ___ No.

19. Does your child have conflict resolution problems? ___ Yes ___ No.

20. Does your child give up easily figuring why bother when there's no hope she'll improve? ___ Yes ___ No.

21. When your child comes home from school or a friend’s house do you have very little discussion about their day? ___ Yes ___ No.

22. Do you know very little about your child’s life outside the home? ___ Yes ___ No.

23. Does your child struggle with managing stress and anger? ___ Yes ___ No.

24. Has your child experimented with drugs or alcohol? ___ Yes ___ No.

25. Are there favorable or permissive attitudes toward drug/alcohol use within your family? ___ Yes ___ No.

26. Do any adults or older siblings in the home use drugs or alcohol? ___ Yes ___ No.

27. Does your child have friends who use drugs, or is your child subject to negative peer pressure to be involved with drugs or alcohol? ___ Yes ___ No.

28. Did your child exhibit any persistent antisocial behaviors in early adolescence? ___ Yes ___ No.

29. Were there any psychological or physical problems in early childhood? ___ Yes ___ No.

30. Has your child been involved with a gang? ___ Yes ___ No.

31. Has your child experienced teen violence, teen pregnancy or dropped out of school? ___ Yes ___ No.

32. Has your child exhibited any of the following: increased levels of impulsivity, hostility, or low inhibition (towards drug use); increased alienation from the dominant values of society; or greater levels of rebelliousness? ___ Yes ___ No.

33. Has your child exhibited a decreased perception of risk? ___ Yes ___ No.

34. Does your child have an attitude of being invulnerable and exhibit an attitude of ‘it won’t happen to me.’? ___ Yes ___ No.

35. Does your child engage in unsupervised activities? ___ Yes ___ No.

36. Does your child have unsupervised peer relationships? ____ Yes ___ No.

37. Is your child’s academic activities (homework) unsupervised and unmonitored? ___ Yes ___ No.

38. Has there been a failure to monitor your child’s academic performance? ___ Yes ___ No.

39. Has there been a lack of bonding between you and your child? ___ Yes ____ No.

40. Has your child exhibited poor values? ___ Yes ___ No.

41. Has the discipline of your child been nonexistent or inconsistent? ___ Yes ___ No.

42. Has there been marital discord and/or divorce within the family? ___ Yes ___ No.

43. Has the child’s family suffered from economic deprivation or poverty? ___ Yes ___ No.

44. Is there a high crime rate in the child’s neighborhood? ___ Yes ___ No.

45. Has your child suffered emotional or physical abuse or neglect? ___ Yes ___ No.

46. Is there conflict within the child’s family? ___ Yes ___ No.

47. Have there been significant family transitions such as family members dying or being away for long periods of time? ___ Yes ___ No.

48. Has the child experienced poor nutritional habits or poor sanitary conditions? ___ Yes ___ No.

49. Has there been domestic violence within the child’s family? ___Yes ___ No.

50. Have members of the child’s family or significant others been involved in criminal activity? ___ Yes ___ No.

51. Has there been a family history of alcohol, tobacco or other drug use? ___ Yes ___ No.

52. Has your child displayed a lack of interest in extracurricular activities at school? ___ Yes ___ No.

53. Has your child experienced disciplinary actions at school such as detentions or suspensions? ___ Yes ___ No.

54. Does your child’s school have a disproportionate numbers of students involved with the juvenile justice system, or are there large numbers of students who have been referred to counseling for behavioral problems? ___ Yes ___ No.

55. Does there seem to be a problem with poor motivation among your child’s school staff and students? ___ Yes ___ No.

56. Has there been a lack of parental support of your child’s school (low PTA attendance, etc.)? ___ Yes ___ No.

57. Have the teachers in your child’s school been trained in providing drug and alcohol prevention? ___ Yes ___ No.

58. Do the teachers at you child’s school suffer from apathy or burnout? ___ Yes ___ No.

59. Is there a negative school climate at your child’s school? ___ Yes ___ No.

60. Has your child had a problem with truancy or excessive absenteeism from school? ___ Yes ___ No.

61. Has your child experienced academic failure? ___ Yes ___ No.

62. Has your child exhibited early and persistent anti-social behavior at school or in the community? ___ Yes ___ No.

63. Does the community in which your child lives suffer from voter apathy or poor voter turnout? ___ Yes ___ No.

64. Within the child’s community are there high levels of vacant housing, increased levels of arrest for drugs and violence and/or a high concentration of liquor outlets? ___ Yes ___ No.

65. Are drugs easily available in the child’s community? ___ Yes ___ No.

66. Is there a relaxed attitude toward drug and/or alcohol use in the child’s community? ___ Yes ___ No.

67. Does the child’s community ignore criminal activity? ___ Yes ___ No.

68. Does the community in which the child lives suffer from disorganization? (Very few community activities, very few neighborhood watch programs, a distinct shortage of active community leadership, and abandonment by the established and elected political leaders). ___ Yes ___ No.

69. Does the key players in the neighborhood—such as merchants, teachers, police, and human and social services personnel—live outside the neighborhood? ___ Yes ___ No.

70. Is there a sense of “low neighborhood attachment” in the child’s community? ___ Yes ___ No.

71. Is there a high level of transition and mobility within the child’s community? ___ Yes ___ No.

72. Within the child’s community are there any of the following: high rates of poverty, a large homeless population or high rates of unemployment? ___ Yes ___ No.

73. Has your child exhibited any learned negative behaviors from family members or
from significant others? ___ Yes ___ No.

If you answered Yes to ten or more of these questions, your Child is at Very High Risk for drug use.

Your child may not have developed the coping skills necessary to successfully avoid abusing drugs. This isn't to say she's actually on drugs yet, but she is very vulnerable. Kids use drugs for four general reasons:They're boredThey're socially uncomfortable and trying to fit in. They feel angry, upset or sad and don't know how to process those emotions. They are frustrated at a lack of success at school, at home or socially. Your child may need help in some or all of those areas. You'll need to determine whether your child is already using drugs. If she is, you may need to seek professional help to help stop the behavior and deal with the underlying issues that may have put her at risk.

Many parents choose to random drug test their children on a monthly basis (unannounced) from age 13 through 18. Oral fluid (saliva) testing makes home based drug testing quick and easy. For more information, go to: