KIDS –JUST LIKE ADULTS- ARE ALSO EXPOSED TO DRUGS
Just like you can protect you kids from certain dangers, you can also prepare them for that moment when they are offered drugs. You can teach them how to make smart, well-informed decisions and refuse drugs. As a parent all you can do is your best by providing the tools–the facts and knowledge- to help them know what to say when they are offered drugs and how to resist pressure from their peers. Drug use can easily develop into a drug addiction, and we all know this is nothing but a downhill path.
BE OPEN WITH YOUR CHILD
When kids don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents, they will look for answers somewhere else. This can be very dangerous because their source of information might be unreliable. It is always better for your kids to learn about such a topic as drugs from their parents or their teachers; people that will provide them with accurate information and not with fictitious stories and myths. Kidshealth.org shares that parents who are educated about the effects of drug use can give their kids correct information and clear up any misconceptions they might have. You’re a role model for your kids, and your views on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs can strongly influence how they think about these substances. So make talking about drugs a part of your general health and safety conversations.
SET THE GROUNDWORK FOR DISCUSSION
These are some suggestions on how to approach the topic of drugs with your kids at different ages, and hopefully prepare them to make the right decision when it comes to drug consumption and abuse.
- Whenever you give a fever medicine or an antibiotic to your child, you can discuss why and when these medicines should be given. This is also a time when your child is likely to pay attention to your behavior and guidance.
- Take advantage of teachable moments. If watching TV together you come upon a character speaking about drugs or addictive pain medicine, take the opportunity to talk about the dangers of the product itself and how it affects the body. Remember not to use a judging approach, but rather a factual, conversational tone of voice.
- Use terms that your child will understand. Also, do not underestimate your child’s intelligence. Be open and ready for whatever question he or she might have and address it in the moment.
- As your kids grow older, you can also start the conversation by asking their opinion about drugs. Listen attentively and take mental notes on parts of the conversation that you would want to return to and things you would like to clarify to your kid.
- Starting an honest conversation with kids about drugs at an early age helps keep the door open as children are less inclined to share their thoughts with their parents as they grow older.
- News, such as painkillers for athletes can be springboards for future conversations about the risks of drugs.
- Talk about the legal issues as well as the health effects of drugs.
- Teenagers will likely have peers who do drugs and drink alcohol. So, it is important to know your kid’s friends and their parents. org explains that kids who have friends who use drugs are likely to try drugs themselves. Those feeling socially isolated for whatever reason may also turn to drugs.
Being a teenager is always hard. This is an age when your kid might suffer from a lot of peer pressure. Many teenagers do drugs or drink alcohol because they think that everyone else is doing it and they don’t want to feel different or be made fun of. WebMD states that finding out what your teens’ friends are into and learning about the environment they move in can relieve the peer pressure from your teen to do something he or she may not actually want to.
PRESCRIBED DRUGS ARE ALSO DANGEROUS
As WebMD explains, teens may think it’s safer to get high on prescription drugs like Adderall (used to treat ADHD) or nonprescription drugs such as cough medicines because they’re legal — unlike street drugs. Nonprescription medications can be just as dangerous as street drugs when they are abused. Also, because medicines can be easy to get from home medicine cabinets, some kids share medicines with friends or sell them.
Parents magazine says that a rule to always follow is to make sure your child knows your rules about drug use and the consequences if they’re broken. Kids can understand the reason for rules and appreciate having limits in place (whether or not they’ll admit it!). What’s more, research shows that children are less likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs if their parents have established a pattern of setting clear rules and consequences for breaking them.
Something else to keep in mind is that teenagers are usually not interested about future problems that might result from experimenting with alcohol or drugs since they may believe that you as a parent are just trying to exaggerate fears against these substances. Hence, it is a good idea to keep your conversations in present tense. Furthermore, take advantage of how teenagers are usually concerned about their appearance and highlight to them how drugs can affect them not only physically by aesthetically as well.
IF OPEN COMMUNICATION DOESN’T WORK…BLVD CAN HELP
If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.
Kidshealth.org. Talking to Your Child About Drugs. Retrieved May 5, 2016
WebMD. Teen Drug Abuse. Retrieved May 5, 2016
Parents. Talking to your Child About Drugs. Retrieved May 5, 2016