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Children and Youth Drug Abuse Prevention: Listening First

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, on June 26 each year, is the United Nations International Day against drugs. The theme for 2017 is: "Listen First - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe."

Studies have shown that good family relationships and parenting skills are effective and even crucial drug abuse prevention strategies. The risk of children’s deviant behavior can be effectively reduced if parents have a solid relationship with their children and always provide them with positive support. The key to establishing positive links with our children is to listen to them and sincerely express our concerns.

Since all drugs are addictive, prevention is always better than treatment; thus everyone should try to avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Teachers as well as the whole community should pay more attention to this problem, and should try to help children and youth who use drugs to return to a normal life as soon as possible.