Drug Awareness for Parents
Drug education for young people and their families is an important step in guiding children through the perilous world of addiction. Awareness of drugs is as vital for parents as it is for teens and children. Knowing what drugs and risks young people are going through will make your child more likely to listen to you and respect your warnings about drug use.
It is the topic of conversation every mum and dad goes through with their kids; they talk about drugs. There are ways, however, that you can help to keep kids off drugs.
Parents used to only worry about children smoking cigarettes; while figures have dropped, there has been a rise in vaping despite the health risks.
5% of youngsters in the US have also taken prescription painkillers. Taking these gateway substances, alongside drugs, alcohol and tobacco at a young age, can alter an adolescent’s natural brain functioning. It leads to addiction and abusing more complex medications in adulthood.
In most cases, drugs have become more potent than a generation ago. Drug access in schools has also become more accessible and ubiquitous on school grounds and at teenage social events.
Here are some steps parents can take to help keep kids off drugs. The support of family members, responsible adults and role models can play an essential part in prevention.
Take Time To Talk With Your Teenager About Drugs
Talking with your teenager or young adult can be challenging. However, having meaningful, ongoing conversations about drugs is critical to helping keep your son or daughter healthy and safe.
Here are five ways to help keep kids off drugs and help you talk with your son or daughter, nurture understanding and help you to break the communication barriers so that you feel more comfortable with each other.
1. Pick the right time and place.
Please sit down and discuss selected times like after dinner, before bedtime, before school or when you are taking them to school.
Go on a walk or a drive together. With less eye contact, your teenager won’t feel like he’s under scrutiny.
2. Use “I” statements.
If you want a constructive conversation with your teenager about drugs and alcohol, try to remain calm and keep an open mind. That way, your teenager is more likely to be receptive to what you have to say.
For example, ask open-ended questions for a more engaging conversation. You do not seek a “yes” or “no” response.
Fully concentrate on what they are saying. Let your teenager know they are listened to by absorbing what you hear — literally or just the sentiment. It works like this: You listen without interference(no matter what), then ascertain what you’ve heard to allow him or her to agree. Try these phrases:
“It seems to me like you feel…”
“I hear you say you feel…”
“Am I right that you feel…”
Using “I” statements keeps the flow going. “I” statements let you speak without your teenager feeling judged, blamed or attached. You describe his behaviour, how you think about it, and how it influences you. Then, you spell out what you need. Like this:
“When you come home late at night, I worry that something awful has happened. Please call me as soon as you know you will be late so I know you are okay.
I feel you don’t listen to me about what I have to say when you are angry. Then I get frustrated. “I feel like you can’t hear what I have to say when you’re so mad. We need to talk about this later when we can both listen.”
I want to keep you safe because I love you. I worry about you going to the clubs and concerts. I must know that you will possess to our rules about not drinking or using drugs.”
The “I” statement allows you to use suggestions (not control or blame) to cause a change in their behaviour. You also will enable them to decide what happens next — another key to connecting.
3. Understand your influence
Talking and listening to your teenager is essential to keep kids off drugs. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, teenagers say that their parents are the most critical influence. So try to speak together a lot.
Discuss the adverse effects of drugs and alcohol. Tell them that you do not want them using drugs. Talk to your child about the short and long-term effects drugs and alcohol can have on their mental and physical health. Explain that experimenting with drugs and alcohol is detrimental to their still-developing brain.
4. Don’t make drugs a taboo topic.
This will allow your teenager to think about the outcomes, their limits around substance use, and possible negative consequences they may suffer. Use everyday occasions to highlight things you want your child to know about.
Talk to them about celebrity headlines or stories in your neighbourhood that show the ramifications of alcohol and drug use. If you and your child see a crowd of kids drinking, use the occasion to talk about the severe effects of drug and alcohol addiction.
When watching television together, ask your child if the shows and advertising make drug use appear acceptable and routine. Or do they show its damaging side?
Share stories of people you have experienced in recovery and stories of those lost to drugs or alcohol; they can be powerful teaching tools. Ask your teenager their thoughts and feelings after reading the stories.
View our Teenage Addictions Page to learn more about the most popular drugs with teenagers. Or test your knowledge about drugs in our Drug Quiz. Then ask your teenager about these drugs – does he know about them? Does she know what they are? Does anyone she has learned to use these drugs? Any of their friends? Has anyone ever suggested or offered them alcohol or cannabis?
A history of addiction or alcoholism in your family means your child has a much higher risk of developing a problem with drugs or alcohol. Being aware of this will help you deal with this issue.
Offering recognition and compassion lets your teenager know you understand. The teen years can be difficult. Agree that everyone suffers sometimes, but drugs and alcohol are not effective or healthy coping methods. Let your child be aware and know that they can talk to you.
Please help to keep kids off drugs or alcohol by assuring your child that you are there for support and guidance and that it’s vital to you that they are happy, healthy, and make safe choices.
5. Keep it age-appropriate.
The teenage brain does not fully develop until about age 25. This explains a lot about how your teenager communicates. For instance, because the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain located at the front of the frontal lobe, isn’t mature, your child may have a terrible time understanding facial expressions. (You may feel taken aback, but they think you’re annoyed.) Once you recognise typical teenage behaviour, you can control your automatic reactions and communicate more clearly.
Typical teen behaviour can trigger a lot of emotions in parents. If you can identify the response you may get from your teenager regarding drugs and alcohol, this will allow you to manage your answer; you will be able to avoid letting your teenagers take control of the situation. Plus, you communicate better because your messages aren’t unclear by emotion.
Why Do People Try Drugs?
- Social Pressure
- Glorification of Drugs
- Mental Health Problems
- Addiction to prescription drugs
- Performance enhancement
Social pressure and glorification are the two primary reasons young people and adults try drugs. If you aren’t exposed to drugs, you are not likely to start taking them.
Not everyone who socialises with people taking drugs joins in. People with strong self-confidence and an independent nature are less likely to cave to peer pressure or be impressed by people talking about how good or impressive drugs are.
Young people with factual information about drugs and their dangers are also less likely to believe peers who try to convince them drugs are fun or beneficial.
Some drugs might help young people to cope with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. However, these are not long-term solutions and a prescription from a doctor or therapy is more effective and less damaging.
There are drugs that improve performance both mentally and physically, and these can be tempting to young people. Talking about and helping your children cope with academic and sporting pressure will decrease the chances they will avoid these drugs. Proactively talking with children and teenagers about enhancing drugs can prepare them if they are ever approached about them.
Help if Your Child is Using Drugs
Learn to spot typical teen behaviour so you won’t lose your nerve. Once you know that brain development can affect teen behaviour in some extraordinary ways, you may see your teenager in a new light.
It can sometimes be difficult for parents to keep kids off drugs and alcohol. They wish to warn their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, keeping them safe and on a healthy lifestyle. It can be an uphill struggle sometimes, but there is help available. If you do feel your teenager has a problem with drugs or alcohol, you can contact Detox Plus UK for assistance or with finding a rehab.
Our alcohol rehab treatment clinics work with you first to understand the problems and then to come up with a highly tailored treatment plan to suit. We have a variety of alcohol rehab programmes suitable to help young adults. The well-trained and professional staff at Detox Plus UK are ready right now to answer your questions and start the process. We can show you the way.