Every addictive drug or habit forming substance is potentially dangerous if used or taken incorrectly or carelessly. Use this guide to help educate your child about drugs. Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, and pharmaceutical prescription drugs are all related to addiction and/or dependency, and it is a common mistake to not include these.
Let your children know that a drug is simply anything that changes normal body function, and all drugs have some benefits to them, but, if used incorrectly, many serious and sometimes life destroying side effects. The reason that illegal drugs are illegal is because they have potential for abuse.
Don’t take drugs yourself
Parents are their children’s primary role models. If you or your partner are addicted to hard drugs or any other addictive or dependency-related substance, be it tobacco, alcohol, over the counter (OTC) prescription drugs or other drugs yourself, then your children will be more at risk for using addictive substances as well.
1. Do intensive research on drugs before you talk to your children about them
For true, knowledgeable and up to date information, look online for professionals who you may be able to contact in your area who deal with drug addictions.
2. Make sure that what you tell your child is factual and true
It is important that you tell your child the truth about drugs. Do not exaggerate the problem â?? just be truthful. If you lie to them, your children will find out sooner or later and lose trust in your word in future. Tell your children that, although some drugs â?? like OTC prescription drugs â?? might be beneficial in certain circumstances. Overall, however, the taking or using of any drug has negative and/or serious consequences.
3. Do your best to build your child’s confidence and self esteem
Children with low self confidence and low self esteem will be more vulnerable to being drawn into taking drugs. Make sure that you do your best to build confidence and self esteem in your child.
4. If your child is going through a traumatic experience
If your child is going through any type of traumatic experience, it might be a good idea for them to see a professional counsellor. Many drug users have had an extremely traumatic experience in their younger years, such as getting raped or molested, or suffering a divorce or death in the family. This has then led to drug addiction in later life.
5. Try to talk to your children intermittently about drug addiction
Itâ??s important to start with educating your children about drugs before they reach puberty. However, if they are clearly not interested, then try again some time later. Keep your language clear and age appropriate and bring the subject up intermittently throughout your childrenâ??s formative years.
6. There is another very important alternative technique when talking with your child about drugs
Most teenagers go through phases of rebellion and being ‘bad’. A good alternative technique with older children and teenagers is not to tell them not to do drugs. Frequently, when you forbid them outright not to do something, especially drugs, it only makes them more inquisitive to experiment.
The best approach is to give your children all the information you can about drug addiction. Tell them how harmful drugs can be, and how they can ruin lives.
7. Talk with your child about peer pressure
All children will experience peer pressure to experiment with drugs at some point, and they should know what to do. Tell your child that if they are in a situation where they feel pressured, the best thing to do is to simply remove themselves from the situation and the company.
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