Recognize the Signs: A Guide to Addiction Prevention for Friends and Family

It can be challenging to know how to support a loved one struggling with addiction. In this helpful guide, Victoria Voice’s provides practical advice and resources for friends and family. She discusses how to offer support, set boundaries, and take care of your own mental health.

When a loved one is battling addiction, finding ways to support them can seem like a daunting task. Victoria’s Voice Foundation firmly believes in the power of knowledge and compassion to bring significant change in someone’s recovery journey. We have designed the Vital Signs program to provide parents, caregivers, and educators with the tools and knowledge they need to recognize and address the early signs of risk and drug use in their children.

The concept of Vital Signs was born out of a painful personal experience. After losing their daughter Victoria to a drug overdose in 2015, David and Jackie Siegel committed themselves to understanding how the tragedy occurred. In doing so, they discovered numerous recognizable signs of risk and substance abuse in youth, signs they either missed, misunderstood, or underestimated in Victoria. With a determination to prevent other families from enduring a similar heartbreak, they created the Vital Signs program.

Vital Signs is a comprehensive program designed to empower parents, caregivers, and educators with life-saving information and practical tools to help guide their children safely through the challenging phase of adolescence. The program focuses on several key areas:

Recognizing the early signs of risk and drug use: A crucial aspect of preventing addiction is recognizing the early signs of risk and drug use. Vital Signs educates participants on these signs and how to interpret them correctly.

Life skills and coping mechanisms: The program also focuses on equipping children with essential life skills and coping mechanisms. These skills can help children navigate stressful situations and challenges without resorting to substance use.

Solutions for at-risk youth: As a 44-course program, Vital Signs provides effective, practical, and comprehensive solutions for at-risk youth. These solutions are designed to address the root causes of substance abuse, from peer pressure to mental health issues.

Conversation tips and starters: Communicating with children about the dangers of substance abuse can be challenging at the best of times. The program provides parents and caregivers with conversation tips and starters to help them initiate these crucial discussions.

Reflection questions and worksheets: The program includes reflection questions and worksheets to facilitate introspection and understanding. These resources can help participants apply what they’ve learned to their own situations.

Family follow-up activities: This program incorporates activities such as parent-child journal prompts and a family constitution template to foster ongoing discussion and engagement within the family.

Recommended resources and support: The program also provides recommended resources and support, directing participants to additional help and information as needed.

As part of our mission to reach as many people as possible, we have set an ambitious goal to empower one million people through this multi-course program.

Remember, you are not alone on this journey. There are numerous resources available for parents, caregivers, and educators dealing with this challenging issue, and Vital Signs is just one of the many ways in which Victoria’s Voice Foundation strives to offer support.

As we continue to expand the program and develop new resources, we remain steadfast in our commitment to helping families navigate the complexities of addiction and recovery. Together, we can make a significant difference.

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