Addiction Help: How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs
Every day I see articles telling parents to discuss drugs with their children if they want them to stay drug-free. Statistics show that kids whose parents talk to them about drugs are 50% less like to take them. But often parents don’t know what to say and, because of that, don’t talk to them about the subject at all.
Really, all that’s really necessary is to educate your kids. Do a little research and find out about drugs yourself – that’s the first step. Do an Internet search for information on methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and marijuana to start with, and then find out about prescription drugs. There are many prescription drugs to watch out for – any tranquilizers, sedatives, sleeping pills, antidepressants, painkillers, ADD and ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall (they’re similar to methamphetamine and cocaine) are very common.
Find out how they work and their side effects. You can also read stories and articles about drug addicts, or former drug addicts, and find out how drugs have affected their lives.
Once you know a little about it yourself, talk to your kids.
If you start when they’re really young – they may be offered drugs in the schoolyard or by a friend by the time they’re 8 or 10 – they’ll know that drugs are very dangerous and they’ll refuse to take them. Or, at least, there’s a 50% chance they’ll refuse. Not a guarantee – but better than the chances if they don’t know what they’re getting into.
Start by bringing it up in conversations when the opportunity presents itself – during a TV show, a commercial about drugs, when seeing someone on the street who is homeless and might be on drugs, and so on. Or take the time to teach them about their body and how it works, and fit it in there.
If your kids are a little older, it would be a good idea to have a sitdown for the express purpose of teaching them about drugs.
Some parents think their kids will never get on drugs so they don’t take the time to do this education. But kids from all walks of life, even great kids who seem close to perfect, try them all the time. No one is immune.
Many parents don’t find out their kids are taking drugs until they’re already at the point of needing addiction help. Opening up the subject through education early on will help prevent that and, if they do experiment, they’re also more likely to be willing to talk about it so you can nip it in the bud.