Abusing drugs can cause short-term issues (such as impaired driving) or long-term issues (such as serious health conditions). Parents are in a prime position to do everything they can to prevent their children from abusing drugs. There are many steps you can take to help your children be drug-free. For ideas for your child’s specific age, click here. For more prevention information and ideas, read this parent’s guide to drug prevention from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Be a good example and keep drugs and alcohol away. If you do drugs or regularly drink too much alcohol, there’s a good chance your children will too.
- Talk with your children about the dangers of drugs and correct any misleading ideas they have.
- Avoid media that sensationalizes drugs and alcohol.
- Practice with your children different ways to say “No!” to drugs.
- Encourage positive ways to cope when life gets hard.
- Encourage positive friendships and activities.
If you think your children may already be abusing drugs and alcohol, here are some tips on how to help them.
- Calmly confront your children about their drug abuse. Gather physical evidence or note observations of their behavior to back up your concerns.
- Negotiate rules and consequences for drug use and enfore them.
- Enlist the help of a counselor if the conversation gets heated or isn’t working.
- Use SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-622-4357 for treatment referral and information any time or day of the year. Find a treatment option that will work best for your children.
Is Vaping Really a Problem?
Vaping, or using e-cigarettes, has become an increasing problem over the past few years. Although in some ways vaping seems to have fewer health consequences than regular cigarettes, there are still risks and problems caused by vaping. Some problems with vaping include the following:
- Vaping uses nicotine, which is extremely addicting. Since teens’ brains are still developing, they are more susceptible to addiction.
- Vaping can impact users’ ability to focus.
- Vaping devices are easier to hide from parents and teachers because they don’t have a strong odor and can be disguised as an everyday object, such as a flash drive.
- Using vaping devices increases the users’ risk of addiction to other drugs.
- Vaping exposes users’ lungs to a variety of chemicals.
Talk with your children about the dangers of vaping.
This blog was written by Hope Squad. Hope Squad student members are trained to be aware of their peers and watch for warning signs. They learn to show empathy to their peers, listen without judgment, and reduce stigma regarding help-seeking and mental illness. Hope Squads are now in over 1,200 schools across 35 states and Canada. During the seventeen years since Timpview High School started a Hope Squad, the school has not lost a student to suicide. And as Hope Squad grows, we will continue to spread hope and save more lives. Learn more by visiting https://hopesquad.com/.