How To Educate Your Kids on Drugs and Keep Them Safe
Studies have shown that kids whose parents talk to them about drugs are 50 percent less likely to take them. But for talking to work, you have to say the right things. What do they need to know? Whether they’re pre-teens, teens, or young adults, they all need the same information.
Unfortunately, simply telling your kids that drugs are bad for you isn’t going to work. Telling them that taking drugs is morally wrong, sinful, can get them into trouble, wind them up in jail, and so on and so on – all the hundreds of general things parents could say to their kids – also don’t work.
Why? Because they see evidence to the contrary all over the place.
They have friends or acquaintances who take drugs and are apparently doing very well. They’re popular, doing fine in school or have jobs, have relationships, money, and so on. And, to young people who don’t tend to look very deeply, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with them or their lives.
Tons of celebrities, athletes, musicians and other people in the public eye also take drugs, drink and so on. But other than the relatively few who always seem to be in rehab, they certainly don’t seem like their lives are being ruined by drugs and alcohol.
What Do I Tell My Kids About Drugs?
Being ordered to do something, or being told you can’t do something because it’s bad, without any information to actually compute with doesn’t work with young people any more than it does with their parents.
You can get away with getting them to blindly follow orders for a while, but once they get out in the world and are exposed to different viewpoints and opinions, they’ll need to be able to think and make their own decisions.
And that’s what you want. Kids who choose to do the right thing because they understand what’s involved in doing both the right thing, and the wrong thing. They need to understand the consequences – other than ‘you’re going to get grounded.’
The kids need to know what the various drugs are that they’re likely to run into, how they work, what immediate effect they will have on the body and mind, what will happen if they’re used occasionally, what will happen if you use them regularly, and the long-term effects physical and mental effects. They also need to know what drugs can react negatively with what other drugs. And with alcohol.
Where Do Parents Get Information About Drugs?
Getting information about prescription drugs is not difficult. Every prescription drug is written about on the internet – including all the reasons why a drug would be taken, and all the side effects. They will not, however, necessarily tell you very much about how they work.
For example, some drugs depress the central nervous system. These include painkillers (like oxycontin, vicodin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone, even aspirin), anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives, antidepressants, and so on.
Here is a very helpful article on what those drugs are and how they work: http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/medication/understanding-central-nervous-system-medications-ga.htm
And if you simply search online for dangers of oxycontin, for example, you’ll find out a lot of information which you can also pass on to someone you’re trying to educate.
There is also a lot of information about methamphetamine on the Meth Project’s site (www.methproject.org).
When you find good sites, and have read and understood them, show them to your kids. Some will also have before and after pictures (as with the Meth Project) which give very graphic information.
Our ongoing blog also has a lot of information. Simply look through the categories on the right for the drug you’re interesting in finding out about.
If you have a son or daughter, brother, sister, spouse, or friend who is taking drugs, this information could also help get them to stop taking whatever drugs they’re involved in – as long as they haven’t been doing them too long. If they’ve been doing them for a while, or can’t stop, call us at 855-889-0555. We can help you get them into a good drug rehab program where they will get the addiction help they need so they can live a normal life.
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