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Help Keep Your Kids off Drugs and Alcohol

Recently, a group of New York high school students participated in a panel called Parent University. The primary purpose is to educate parents on teen use of drugs and alcohol so they can help their kids. The panel consists of two freshmen girls, two senior girls, and two senior guys as well as others from the community.

The activity is sponsored by two community groups – The Community Coalition for Family Wellness hosts it, with the help of a grant from Drug Free Communities Support Program.

Parents rarely know very much about the alcohol and drug abuse issues going on with their kids. In fact, statistics show that kids are usually using drugs for two years before their parents even find out about it.

One of the teachers is also heavily involved – her son starting taking drugs when he was 17 and now, at age 25, is serving time in prison.
The students are letting parents know what drugs are used most in the schools – in this school marijuana and prescription painkillers have overtaken alcohol abuse – and giving the parents advice on how to prevent it.

They’re also letting parents know the kinds of things the kids are running into that are getting them started with drugs. They said that fear of being rejected by the other kids because they don’t drink or take pills isn’t as serious a problem as some might think. Another helpful fact is that it’s just as easy to find friends in the school who don’t drink or take drugs – that groups of kids who don’t do that are as easy to find as kids who do.

Parents who set consequences for drinking and drug use – tough consequences that the kids understand, that there’s no question about, and which the parents enforce – will go a long way to handle the problem.

They also let parents know that heroin is about as easy to get as a pack of cigarettes.

Another person on the panel was the Director of Public Education and Communications from the Upstate New York Poison Center. She talked to the parents about the different types of drugs, which ones were most popular, and how they’re taken. One of the latest trends she talked about is a mixture of clear soda, prescription level codeine syrup, and gummy bears. It’s called “purple drank”

It’s not likely too many parents knew about that.

This kind of thing is extremely helpful to parents. When they understand what’s going on, there’s a much better chance they can do something about it before their kids wind up needing addiction help.

It is quite possible to get something like this going in your neighborhood – your kids school. Contact the school and local drug groups, poison centers, hospital emergency room staff, police, and so on to see who can help. And get the kids involved too. They know what’s going on. They live with it every day.

Something like that can keep your kids off drugs, keep them safe, and maybe even save their lives.

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