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Thursday, May 30, 2019

How Parents Can Prevent Their Children From Using Drugs

As a parent, you instinctively worry about your child’s health, happiness and well-being. You want the son or daughter you are raising to realize their full potential in life and to succeed in school and an eventual career. Undoubtedly, the prospect of your child experimenting with drugs and alcohol is one of your chief concerns.

Why Do Children Use Drugs?

Children of every age experience a tremendous amount of pressure to fit in and to keep up with their classmates and friends. Many kids mistakenly believe using drugs and alcohol will make them more popular at school. Some turn to substance abuse as a way to self-medicate when they experience painful emotions. Still others use drugs like Adderall without having a legitimate prescription because they believe sharpening their focus will help them get better grades.

High school is often the first time young people get exposed to drugs and alcohol, and the temptation to experiment with these substances can be overwhelming. Drug and alcohol use is common on college campuses as well, which often have a “party culture” that contributes to student binge drinking.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Drug and Alcohol Misuse

When it comes to teaching your child how to avoid peer pressure and the temptation to use drugs, there is no quick fix. But you may have a larger influence on your son or daughter than you realize, even if it doesn’t seem like they are listening to you. Talk honestly with your children, get to know their friends and stay actively engaged in their lives. When you establish a pattern of two-way trust, your child will feel more comfortable being honest with you about what’s happening in school.

The tone you set in your conversations with your child is just as important as what you say. One productive approach is to start by asking an open-ended question, such as, “Is anyone you know using drugs?” or, “What positive things have you heard about drugs?” Then, let your child respond without interrupting them. Give them your undivided attention, and no matter what they say, remain calm and patient.

If your child tells you that they have tried drugs, or that one of their friends offered them drugs, don’t react with anger or hostility, but with love. Thank them for being honest with you, then use that opportunity to educate them about the risks of using drugs at a young age. When young adults have accurate information about drugs, their viewpoint about them changes, and they no longer see drug and alcohol use as a “cool” or “fun” activity, but a dangerous one that has long-term consequences.

Does Your Child Need Help for Substance Misuse?

If you suspect your child is struggling with an addiction disorder, don’t let the stigma stand in the way of seeking healing for your family. At Hope Academy, we understand how overwhelming it can feel when your child is having problems with drug and alcohol misuse. We offer support for you and your family during this challenging time as you work to get your child the lifesaving help they need. Contact our addiction specialists today to begin the application process.
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