Children and Drug Abuse
According to a report by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in March 2011, teens may start to consume alcohol before age 12 and they may begin experimenting with marijuana around age 14. In high school, the use of alcohol and marijuana is considered normal. For parents whose children are abusing drugs, it’s very painful to send them to an in-patient drug rehab facility. If you suspect that your kid is using drugs, make plans to talk to him or her before things get out of hand.
Firstly, it’s important to establish an open communication about drugs. This is not so tough because drug use is discussed in schools, churches, the media, and so on. Why not talk about it in the family? Many teens start to use drugs because they feel too lonely. As they grow older, they have to deal with such issues like insecurity, school work, career choices, peer pressure, love, and other aspects of life. This is why it’s essential for parents to build strong a relationship with their children. When there’s a strong relationship, it will be much easier to talk to them about drugs.
Though it’s easy to get emotional as you talk to your kid about drugs, you have to be calm, and keep an open mind. Take time to learn about your teen’s activities and behavior. It helps to find out what they are doing everyday and who they hang out with. In setting up boundaries, you can ask for input from your kid but when it’s time to enforce the boundaries, you have to be firm. Explain that you love and care deeply about them. Always reinforce your teen’s faith and trust. Try to have small casual talks about drugs regularly rather than long lectures. The conversations are to be positive, and two-way. It makes a great difference when they realize that you are listening to them respectfully. Explain how drug use can have a negative impact on their appearance, health, and physical fitness.
In case you discover that your teen is addicted to drugs, you have to encourage him or her to enter drug rehab. Stress to your teen that they have to turn their lives around and there’s really no shame in signing up for addiction recovery.