* How to Teach Your Child to Avoid Drugs
* How to Get Help if Your Child is Using Drugs
Every drug is potentially dangerous if taken incorrectly. Use this guide to help educate your child about drugs.
1. Do plenty of research on drugs before you talk to your kids about them. Don't believe anything that public service announcements or government commercials say about drugs. Also, don't trust news stories. These are known to exaggerate facts about drugs, or just flat out lie. For true, knowledgeable information, and up to date information, look online for professionals that you may be able to contact in your area who deal with drug addictions. Avoid any drugs. Don't listen to anybody.
2. Make sure that what you tell your child is factual and true. If you tell them that Marijuana can kill you, which it can't, then they are bound to find out eventually that it won't. They will be hurt that you lied to them, and will have trouble believing other things you say.
3. Do your best to build your child's confidence and self esteem all throughout their life. Adult drug addicts often had troubled childhoods, and weren't happy. Many teenage drug users take drugs because they want to escape their problems. Simply be fair and reasonable with discipline, and make sure your child knows that you love them.
4. If your child is going through a traumatic experience, such as the death of a loved one, then it's a good idea to put them in therapy to work out their problems. Often adult drug users have had an extremely traumatic experience in their younger years, such as getting raped or molested, a divorce or death in the family, etc.
5. You should try to tell them about drugs more than once. Its important to start before they hit puberty, at the age of about ten. If they are clearly not interested, then try again some other time. Remember not to lie when talking about drugs. Lying to them is like asking them to do drugs.
6. There is another very important technique when talking with your child about drugs. Never, ever, ever, EVER tell them not to do drugs. This is especially important in older kids and teenagers. Most teenagers go through phases of rebellion and being "bad". When you forbid them not to do something, especially drugs, it only makes them want to do it more. Tell them that drugs can be harmful, and can be addicting, and they can ruin your life, but don't tell them that they cannot do it.
7. Your child may become fascinated with drugs, and you may find them researching on the internet and the library about drugs. The knee-jerk reaction is to freak out that they are on drugs, but that is not a good idea. Its a very good thing that they are researching drugs, because that means they are getting the information about drugs you want them to get. Eventually the fascination will go away.
8. Talk with your child about peer pressure. All children will be pressured 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 the right thing to do. Tell them not to do anything they don't feel comfortable doing, and that they should always do the right thing. Don't tell your kids to report their friends' drug use. In most cases, they will get the reputation as a "rat", or a "snitch", and it's not worth it. Most teenagers wont allow a tattle tale into their circle of friends, and your child could become an outcast. Make sure they know not to tell on people.
Do you suspect that your child is using an illegal substance? If you are a parent in this unfortunate situation, you need answers and solutions to help both you and your child get the help you need before the problem escalates. You can take several important steps when coming to terms with a child who has a potential drug problem.
1. Watch carefully to determine whether your child is having sudden and inexplicable shifts in mood and behavior. If your child is usually kind and easygoing and suddenly becomes routinely angry and irritable, you need to be attentive to him and consider the possibility of drug abuse.
* Certain drugs have a tendency to create altered states of mind. If your child is sleeping more than usual and is often lethargic, she may be using narcotics. If, on the other hand, she is radically upbeat and almost elated beyond control, she may be using amphetamines.
2. Look for unusual paraphernalia like hash pipes, aluminum wrappers, roach clips, straws that have been cut in half and similar objects connected to drug use. If you suddenly see odd pieces of equipment like this in your child's backpack or hidden in his dresser drawers, he is most likely either using drugs or hanging out with friends who are doing so.
3. Note whether the child is taking less care of her personal grooming. If your daughter begins to see little point in brushing teeth, combing hair, putting on clean clothes or bathing, you could be dealing with a drug problem.
4. Pay attention to sudden changes in money-spending habits. If your child begins asking you for money and can't provide explanations for where the money is going, you should pay attention. Don't offer any more cash until he tells you how he plans to spend the money.
5. Be aware of the friends your child is spending time with. If she is hanging around with a new group of friends you don't know, you might need to take note of it. Also, if after these new friendships form, you see sudden changes in behavior, including secretiveness, deception, late hours at night, inexplicable gaps of time when unreachable by cell phone, you need to consider that she may be abusing drugs.
1. Discuss the problem with a qualified drug counselor. It is helpful to get information from these individuals and discuss ways to help the child.
2. Explain to your child that you have concerns about his well-being and you would like for the both of you to go to a counselor to talk about things. You might not want to specify suspected drug addiction at this stage.
3. Permit the counselor and your child to develop a therapeutic relationship. You need to ask the counselor to assist you in determining whether the child has a substance abuse problem and whether she needs to enter a rehabilitation facility.
4. Take steps to enter the child into rehab if the problem requires that level of care.
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