The best anti-drug for kids is a vigilant parent
Peer pressure to experiment with drugs starts as early as the fourth grade. Our childrenï¿½s interest is generated by curiosity, boredom, rebellion, parental permissiveness, insecurity, lack of social, academic or athletic success, the need for escape from family problems, or the absence of clear standards or models. But the most important determinant for drug use by our kids is simple availability so how do you prevent your kids from getting into drugs? Thereï¿½s no simple answer but the best thing you can do is, talk to them.
- Make clear that drug and alcohol use of any kind is unacceptable behavior. Over the counter (OTC) drugs and legal medications are also being abused and can be found at home.
- Emphasize that the reason for your attitude is that you love them and care about their physical and mental health and their future. (Many teenagers claim that the reason they do not do drugs is that they fear losing their parentsï¿½ respect and pride.)
- Explain how their involvement would hurt you and the rest of the family, too. Talk about all the dangers of drug-use (physical, mental, emotional, academic), like AIDS, addiction, slowed growth, serious accidents, learning disabilities, memory problems, social isolation, or inability to think clearly.
- Discuss legal issues related to drug use: School suspension, loss of driverï¿½s license, job, college loan and/or prison.
- LISTEN without interruption to what your children have to say. Donï¿½t preach. Encourage openness and frankness. Remain calm throughout.
- Make clear that you want to have an on-going conversation about drugs and they should come to you at any time to talk.
- Set an example. Donï¿½t use illegal drugs yourself, and use alcohol and cigarettes responsibly. You are their first model. (Research has shown that the adolescent brain develops more slowly than once believed. The mental process of judgment is not fully developed until approximately 24 years of age.)
- Be aware of signs of drug use like frequent mood changes, emotional sensitivity, irritability, euphoria, paranoia, physical changes like weight loss, lack of hygiene, fatigue, bloodshot eyes, or lack of coordination.
Crime Stoppers realizes how important the control of drugs is in our school system which is why we actively provide support to the School Resource Officer program. Help us in any way you can ï¿½ with tips, as a volunteer, with a donation of any amount. Whatever you can do will make a difference for your kids and your community.