Creating a "new cool" without drinking & drugs

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, offers her personal advice on keeping kids off drugs by keeping the lines of communication open.
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Creating a "new cool" without drinking & drugs

With my own children, I started with the teachable moments from the time that they were very young. So we talked a lot about how they felt and how they looked at the world. As they got older and we would be in carpool together and we would be driving, we were our own carpool because we were four, so hen we were driving in the car and a radio story would come on about whatever the latest train wreck was in terms of addiction, we talked about it then and there. What does it mean? How did it happen? How could it have gone wrong? It was a constant dialogue. So what you could create within your child and within your relatioship with your child, is a constant dialogue. And that dialogue allows them to see that there are options in life to addiction. They didn't have to use in order to be cool. They can establish their own cool. They can know who they are and what their boondaries are within their friendships within their group. As a parent, my message was always, your health and safety first. So I want to know about anything that's going on because my consideration is always your individual health and safety. Once that's established, we talk about what's happened. What has occurred? How could it have gone differently? What is the option to what happened? So we talk through everything and the line of communication is long and strong. I also gave them a very strong dialogue within themselves. They knew from the beginning that they had the unconditinal love and support and respect for them as people. I once asked my daughter who's now 23 about what made a difference to her in her life. I'd visited her at college, we were sitting at a coffee shop, and I said, "What made a difference to you? Why is it that you were able to not drink, not use, and not go into early sexual relationships?" She looked at me and paused and said, "Because you and Daddy said to me every day of my life that you loved me and that I was your everything. So I got a sense of self resepect, I got a sense of myself, and I didn't need to do those other things."

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, offers her personal advice on keeping kids off drugs by keeping the lines of communication open.


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Karen Khaleghi, PhD

Co-founder of Creative Care Malibu

Dr. Karen Khaleghi is a pioneer in the field of dual diagnosis, or co-occurring drug and alcohol addiction along with mental health disorders. As one of the co-founders of Creative Care in Malibu and co-author of The Anatomy of Addiction, Dr. Karen speaks to parents and organizations about the formation of addiction, the critical aspects of nature and nurture and the resulting disconnection between emotions and behavior as well as the genesis of addiction and the path to recovery, a process she calls "connecting the dots." 

There are many things that set Dr. Karen Khaleghi apart from others including her individualized treatment approaches and excellent treatment facility Creative Care which is filled with clinical staff comprised of professionals that offer the highest standard of care in the industry. Karen graduated from California Graduate Institute with her Ph.D in 1989 and lives in Los Angeles, CA with her loving husband and children. Dr. Karen Khaleghi has been featured on The Today Show, KCAL 9, Dr. Phil and many others!


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