Make a Promise for Life
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If my sister Laura had honored this pledge, her dangerous dance with alcohol and drugs would never have begun. Life is too precious. Take the following pledge and let us know. Our initial goal was 25 pledges to match the number of years my sister Laura struggled with her addiction. Thank you for helping us exceed that goal. Our 2020 goal is to surpass 390 pledges. Taking the pledge is a commitment to honor yourself. It also serves as encouragement for others to take the pledge as well, representing a supportive, sober, peer community.
In his book High Society, Joseph A. Califano Jr. states, “A child who reaches twenty-one without smoking, using illegal drugs, or abusing alcohol is almost certain never to do so.” Nearly every child will be offered one of these substances from a friend before high school graduation. Close to 25% of America’s college students meet the clinical criteria for drug and alcohol addiction.
Senior High School Picture
individuals have made this commitment. Congratulations!
I will live my life to the max. I will honor my mind, body, and spirit by not smoking, using illegal drugs, or drinking alcohol before my 21st birthday. I will educate myself about these dangerous substances and live my dream without them. If tempted, I will speak with my parents or a trusted friend. I will communicate my thoughts and feelings and stay strong.
When asked to participate in drug or alcohol-related activities, peer pressure can seem overwhelming. Here are some helpful techniques to honor yourself and your friends, and still effectively decline the invitation.
- Develop an emergency plan ahead of time with your parents for extreme situations. Consider a “code” phrase or word you may use in a phone call which means they will pick you up immediately – no questions asked or judgments offered. Your safety is everything.
- Get out of the situation ASAP – reject the behavior not the friend. (I’ll be at Mr. Smith’s if you want to meet me there, I’ll be talking to Jane if you decide you want help.)
- Ask questions … Slow down … (who, what, where, when, how) We know that quick decisions get us into trouble.
- Name the trouble – out loud or in your head. (that’s smoking, that’s cheating)
- Name the consequences – out loud or in your head (I won’t be able to run at practice if I’ve been smoking. I could get an F if I’m caught cheating.)
- Name an alternative. (Let’s talk to Jane – she understands the stuff that’s going to be on the test – maybe she can help us.)
Successfully avoiding drugs and alcohol will require effective teamwork. We encourage you to share these possible ideas with your parents along with your current strategies to remain substance-free. 25% of families never have a conversation about drugs and alcohol. It is important to be transparent and communicate consistently with your parents.
10 Resolutions That Show Your Kids You Care – From The Partnership at Drugfree.org
- Teach your children to trust you by seeing you as a role model.
- Be patient, not just tolerant. Apologize when you make a mistake or do something you regret.
- Ask teens what they need from you – and do whatever you can to meet those needs.
- Listen to your teens, a lot. Avoid interrupting.
- Teach your children about ethics, values and principles they can apply in choices and decision making.
- Help them discover the feeling of gratitude, not just to say thank you.
- Keep the promises you make. If you do not keep your word, acknowledge that. Help your teen understand the circumstances or choices that precipitated the change in your plans.
- Answer your teen’s questions and be consistent. When you notice behavioral changes in them, make yourself available and encourage them to talk about what is going on in their life.
- Be understanding when they have a difficult time and let them know you will love them no matter what.
- Be diligent. Have ongoing conversations with your kids about the risks of drugs and alcohol.