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Three types of risk factors increase the chances that children will turn to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs:
Risk factors are more likely to lead to drug use if:
Not all children-even those exposed to many risk factors over a long period of time-will develop substance abuse problems. They seem to be protected by certain conditions that researchers call protective factors, which also occur in three areas of life:
Protective factors can decrease the harm caused by some risk factors and can prevent certain risks from developing into problems.
The more you reduce risk factors and increase protective factors, the more likely you are to succeed in preventing drug abuse among children.
Three family-centered approaches have shown great potential for success:
The more you and other families are involved in planning and decisionmaking, the more likely programs in your community are to protect children from drug use.
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