1. Start: It is never too early to prevent your children from trying drugs. Building protective factors, such as letting your child know you care, with even the youngest children, plays an important role in protecting them from drugs.

2. Connect: Build lines of communication and do things as a family. Spend time together — eat dinner, read together, play a game, attend church services. Show that fun doesn't require drugs.

3. Listen: Take an active interest in what is going on in your child's life. Listen to their cares and concerns. Be a nosy parent. Know what they are up to — where they are and who they're with. Get to know their friends.

4. Educate: Spend at least 30 minutes explaining the simple facts to your kids about how drugs can hurt them.

5. Care: Spend at least a few minutes each day telling and showing your children that you care. Make sure they know you care that they are drug-free. Explain to your child that you are always there for them — no matter what happens. Make sure that they know to come to you first for help or information.

6. Be Aware: Look for the warning signs that your child may be developing a substance abuse problem and get help before the problem worsens.

7. Learn: Children today are sophisticated. In order to educate your child about the danger of drugs, you need to educate yourself first. In many cases, you and your child can learn side-by-side. Sit down together and learn about the risks drugs pose.

Comment on this story 8. Set limits: By setting limits on what is acceptable behavior, you show your children you care and you help guide them to a safer, drug-free future. Declare limits — this family doesn't do drugs, this family doesn't hang around people who do drugs. Enforce these limits and lead by example. Be consistent.

9. Get involved: Effective prevention extends beyond the home into the community. Get involved in your community. Ensure that your community's streets, playgrounds and schools are safe and drug-free. Start or join a community watchgroup or community anti-drug coalition.

10. Lead: Young people are as much aware of what you do as what you say. Don't just say the right things; do the right things. Set a good example. If you have a substance abuse problem, seek help.

Source: Focus on the Family