Talk to your teens about Drugs
If your teen is going to learn about drugs from anyone, most parents parent’s preference that it come from them. However, the mere thought of addressing the topic can fill some parents with dread. It is often the case that they do not want to know what their kids know as they are scared of the truth. It is therefore essential to arm yourself with as much information as possible from reliable sources as possible to prepare yourself for this conversation.
In 2008 a study showed that pertaining to US teens, 563,000 smoke marijuana, 37,000 use inhalants, and 24,000 use hallucinogens. Any teen determined to come into possession of a substance has the means to accomplish that and it doesn’t take many texts to find someone who knows someone who can provide the means to abuse drugs which is why it is still important to talk to your child about the risks, danger, and long term consequences of abusing drugs.
Before talking to your teen, make sure you are knowledgeable on the topic. Prepareyourself by learning from a reputable source, there are government websites as well as Drug Rehab Comparison that offer accurate and comprehensible information on the topics. It’s important to be able to discern and correct any misconceptions your teen might have regarding drugs as this could be the basis of abuse that could have been avoided through proper education.
Emphasize that you are more concerned with their health than you are punishing them for their actions, the goal is to reach a mutual understanding for their actions and consequence instead of pushing them farther away through fear, intimidation, and resentment. Providing them with the comprehension to make their own decisions as they go forward in life will benefit them not only immediately but also further down the road in life.
Go over the very real dangers present when one resorts to drugs. Many drugs impair one’s ability to drive making an already dangerous environment even worse. Not only is driving while on drugs dangerous, it’s also incredibly illegal. Speeding tickets and running stop signs are one thing but DUIs are completely different and aren’t limited to just alcohol. Drug and alcohol charges greatly affect your teen’s eligibility for state financial assistance when it comes to college and may even cause such assistance to be revoked entirely.
Be wary of the signs that your teens could already be using drugs. There are a lot of little things that a teen could do that paint a much darker painting when combined. Some red flags besides physical indications include a change in academic performance, if your child is repeatedly asking for money for seemingly innocent activities with friends like dinner or a movie, a change in personality. The danger with diagnosing off of observations however, is it’s not always drugs. Teen have so many other things going on in their life which is why it’s important to talk to them to find out.
If you find out that your child is abusing drugs, find out why. Teens today are under incomprehensible amounts of stress and drugs provide an easy alleviation from what might be bothering them. “Easy” does not mean “the best,” especially in this situation, anything you can do to make life easier to manage for your teen will go a long way, when stress becomes too much it becomes difficult to differentiate the different causes and it all blends into an overwhelming feeling of opposition, that’s why it’s important that your teen knows and is comfortable with coming to you for help instead of resorting to drugs.
Never assume that your child has no opportunities to abuse drugs, peer pressure is a very real threat your teen will have to deal with and most likely by themselves. There very much exists a “drug culture” in most high schools and you have to make sure that you can prepare your teen to be able to approach these individuals and not be enticed to follow their same path. Make sure they have the ability to refuse to take any sort of drug even if their best friend is asking them as well as make sure they know how to pick the right kind of people to become friends with.
Studies have shown that parents who are able to effectively communicate that they do not condone the use of marijuana along with also communicating the risks that come with regular marijuana usage find that their teens are less likely to become habitual marijuana smokers regardless if they decide to experiment with marijuana or not. You, the parents, have just as much if not more of an effect on the choices your child makes.
If your teen becomes an addict their life will never be the same, any hopes or aspirations you had for them will have to be revaluated for the life that your teen has prepared for themselves. Long term drug abuses can affect everything from employment to the way their brain will process natural chemicals for the rest of their life. There are plenty of success stories online of people who have managed to overcome their habits but something consistent throughout all of these stories is that it was never easy. The best form of drug rehabilitation is never needing drug rehabilitation in the first place
This harrowing but uplifting story about a recovered addict is a story all parents should watch.
Drug Rehab Comparison encourages parents to check out this Parents Toolkit from Partnership for a drug free America. This is an excellent resource for parents who wish to know more about their children and drugs.
Watch this video which contains valuable advice about talking to your teens about drugs.
http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/PATS-2013-FULL-REPORT.pdf – Teen drug use statistics