Keeping children away from drugs and alcohol is a top concern for many parents. And while many people may think of this as a risk mostly in the teen years, a new online guide, authored by a University of Alabama professor, stresses the importance of preventing substance abuse in the early childhood years. Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, who is now Associate Dean for Research at UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, developed the online guide while she was working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The guide outlines seven principles of substance abuse prevention, from the prenatal stage through age eight. In developing the guide, Robertson reviewed a great volume of research on the topic. Her main finding was that focusing on substance abuse prevention very early in life can have benefits for decades to come, even on other aspects of a child’s life.
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