Does Where You Live Affect Whether Your Kids Drink Or Take Drugs?
So, where is it safe to raise your kids? If you live in a predominantly white community, chances are there are a little over five locations within a half mile of your house where your kids can buy alcohol.
If you live in a minority community, the number of alcohol-selling shops could be twice that.
It's an unfortunate fact that the more opportunity there is to get alcohol, the more likely it is that your kids will drink.
What kind of environment is likely to produce abstainers or, at least, light social drinkers who don't drink so much they can't quit without going to an addiction treatment center? There are a lot of great places to live.
BusinessWeek recently published research about the best towns to raise children in the U.
They didn't even bother with populations over 100,000, or with household incomes of less than $40,000, so that tells you something right there.
Check out what they found.
The main criteria they used, other than population and income, were safety, affordability and school performance.
But they also looked for strong communities that offered amenities that, in the end, would keep kids busy, interested and involved.
Some of them sound like the ideal Norman Rockwell environments.
A strong community, built on strong families, is the key.
That's why some of the most effective ways to keep your kids off drugs and alcohol, no matter where you live, focus on family: eating meals with your kids at least three times a week, getting them involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities and making sure you're involved right along with them.
Communicating with kids about drugs and alcohol, teaching them of their dangers, is also very high on the list.
Kids whose parents talk to them about drugs are 50% less likely to take them.
The bottom line is this: no place is perfect.
Living in a small town doesn't give you any guarantees.
In fact, there are plenty of small towns that have very serious drug problems with the kids and young adults.
If you want your kids to steer clear of drugs and alcohol, it's going to be primarily up to you.
If they already have a problem, get them into an addiction treatment center where they can get help through drug or alcohol rehab.
Then carefully look over what you could improve in your family life and community so you can help them stay on the straight and narrow.