As a parent, it’s vital to be aware of the dangers of drug use and to take steps to ensure your children are not using drugs. There are many signs and signals that can indicate drug use, and if you are concerned that your child may be using drugs, it is essential to talk to them about the issue. Some signs that may indicate drug use include changes in mood or behavior, problems at school or work, and changes in appearance.
However, there are things you can do as a parent to prevent any drug use from ever occurring, or to at least minimize the risk of it happening. During this article, we will discuss how you can make sure your kids aren’t using drugs.
Get Help If You Need It
If you are concerned about drug use, it is important to get help. There are several resources available to parents concerned about drug use. One form of treatment you might like to consider is a structured, behavioral health program that offers mental health treatments for your child. Usually, behavioral health establishments offer a variety of programs and treatments individualized to the patient’s needs, such as residential treatment or outpatient treatment.
There are many reasons why residential treatment and outpatient treatment can be useful for children with substance abuse issues. One of the most important reasons is that these types of treatment can help to address the underlying causes of substance abuse in children, which can include things like trauma and mental health disorders.
Residential treatment and outpatient treatment can also provide children with the structure and support they need to recover from substance abuse and learn how to live a healthy and drug-free life. In addition, these types of treatment can help prevent relapse and provide children with the skills they need to stay sober in the future. Professionals working in these centers can advise you on which program would best suit your child’s needs.
Get to Know their Friends
One of the best ways to ensure your kids are not using drugs is to get to know their friends. If you are concerned about drug use, it is important to have a good relationship with your child’s friends (and their parents) and to be able to talk to them about the issue.
Similarly, if you notice changes in your child’s behavior, you could speak to their friends about what you’ve noticed. If you already have a good relationship with your child’s friends, they may be more willing to confide to you their own concerns about your child or what they know. Changes in behavior can be a sign of drug use, and if you are concerned, it is important to take action.
Talk To Your Kids About Drugs
Most importantly, it is essential to talk to your kids about drug use. It’s absolutely paramount to have an open and honest conversation about drugs and to make sure that they understand the risks. It can be difficult to talk to your kids about drugs, but it’s important to have these conversations early and often. If the topic is not seen as “taboo,” then it’s less exciting and easier for your children to shrug it off or give an answer when their friends (or acquaintances) bring it up.
You want to be sure that your kids understand the dangers of drug use, and that they know how to say no if they’re ever offered drugs. With this in mind, you should start early. Remember, it’s never too early to start talking to your kids about drugs!
This includes talking to your children about the dangers of over-the-counter drugs. Most of us have OTC drugs in our homes and don’t think about their dangers, as we use them only occasionally for colds and flus. However, kids can get high on common OTC drugs like cough medicine.
You can bring up the topic in casual conversation, or you can talk about it specifically when your child is old enough to understand. Be open and honest. Tell them what drugs are and explain why they’re dangerous. You might also want to share your own experiences if you have any and talk about any family history of addiction.
Finally, be sure to emphasize that drug use is always a choice and that your child can say no if they’re ever offered drugs. These conversations won’t be easy, but they’re important. By having them, you can help ensure that your kids stay safe and healthy.
Good parenting won’t guarantee kids will make the right decisions. Teenagers want to exert their independence and they will make mistakes. But bad parenting, including a lack of open communication, can almost guarantee kids will end up in trouble. Kids need healthy adult role models with whom they can safely talk and ask questions. ~ Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom
Be Involved in Their Lives
As a parent, you should be involved in your child’s life as much as possible. This way, you can be aware of what’s going on. Be involved in their school and extracurricular activities and talk to their teachers. Make your home an open, welcoming space where they can hang out with their friends and have fun. Invite their friends’ families over for dinner and get to know the parents.
When I was a teen, there seemed to be an idea that moms could go back to school once their children were this age. Teens are seen as being old enough to be responsible for themselves and don’t need their parents anymore. In my experience (and that of many of my friends), I needed my mom just as much in my teenage ears as I did when I was younger, and I’m grateful my mom remained at home, available and involved in my life.
Now as a mom with one teen and another almost-teen, I can still see how much they need from me on a daily basis. My role as their mom hasn’t diminished as they’ve gotten older; rather, my role has just changed. I treasure the time we get to spend together and do my best to know what’s going on in their lives and to support their dreams and goals as they do become more independent.
Set Rules and Expectations
And finally, it’s completely fine to set rules and expectations about drug use. This way, your kids will know that it is not acceptable and completely prohibited.
Start with your federal or provincial rules regarding drugs. The recent legalization of marijuana here in Canada sparked a few conversations for us, as use of marijuana is now more common. Smelling the neighbours smoking pot has given us a chance to talk about it (and so far, my girls just think it’s stinky and disgusting, which I’m okay with).
Tonya Staab, a mom of 3 kids, says, “Keep drug test kits at home. These are a great preventative measure. If kids know they can be tested at anytime it will help offer them an ‘out’ if pressured by peers to use drugs.”
In conclusion, there are many things that you as a parent can do to prevent your children from using drugs. These include seeking professional help, getting to know their friends, talking to them about the risks of drug use, being involved in their lives, and setting rules and expectations about drug use. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that their kids stay safe and healthy.
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