Talking To Your Kids About Drug Abuse:
Keeping the Lines of Communication Open
drugs are taking over our schools and destroying our
childrens lives probably frightens you. But if you
suspect your child is using drugs, you must tread
carefully. Dont spy or make emotional accusations.
Those are sure ways to make your child rebellious and
defensive. Instead, tell him that drugs can damage his
health and his future. Explain that you want to protect
him from the danger of drugs just as you would want to
protect him from any other threat.
Watch for the Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
Although the warning signs of drug abuse vary from person to person, there are some changes that you should watch for in your child. Be concerned if he or she:
Dispel Drug Myths
Two illegal drugs commonly abused by teenagers are marijuana (pot) and cocaine (coke). There are many myths that could make your child think pot and coke are safe to use.
Teenagers often think its safe to smoke pot. They couldnt be more wrong. Marijuana is both physically and psychologically addictive. Long-term users suffer from irritability and insomnia when they try to quit. But not quitting can be even worse. Pot can cause lung cancer and other diseases, just as cigarettes can. Pot also causes kids to lose their ambition and drive, and may keep your child from becoming emotionally mature.
The risks of coke are better known. But youngsters often think theyre invulnerable to drugs. Tell your child that cocaine and "crack (cocaine thats smoked) are some of the most addictive drugs around. Theyre also unpredictable. Cocaine can kill suddenly by triggering a heart attack or seizure. Injecting coke or any other drug can put your child at risk for AIDS.
Self-Esteem Is the Best Defense Against Drugs
Children often try drugs in order to "fit in" or to impress their friends. Staying clean can be very difficult for children who have little confidence in themselves. You can help your children resist drugs by telling them that theyre special too special to waste their lives with drugs.
Staying clean can be very difficult for a child who has little confidence.