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How to Talk to Your Kids about Using Drugs

Speaking with children and teens about drug use can be overwhelming. You may not know how to approach the situation, especially since the “Just Say No” campaign has proved to be unsuccessful in the past. So how do you talk to your kids about using drugs when you are a concerned parent?

Talking to Your Kids about Drugs

While bringing up the concept of drugs to your children and teens can be tricky, it’s a conversation that should be addressed, especially now that the country is in the midst of the Opioid Epidemic. These helpful tips below can be a great guide when you need to have a talk about drugs with your children and teenagers.

Let Kids Know About the Dangers Early On

Picking the best age to speak with your child about the dangers of drug abuse and how it can lead to drug addiction can be difficult, but it’s best to talk to children while they are young so that you can help prevent them from abusing drugs in the future. It’s also important to let kids know the facts before they are faced with peer pressure and an opportunity to use.

Notice Behaviors and Act Accordingly

Not every child is abusing drugs, but sometimes it can be hard to tell which ones are – even if they are your own. This is why if you notice your child or teen acting differently, you may want to address what is going on, instead of brushing it off. Even though children and teens may not want to talk about everything, it can be a good idea to implement open communication as best as you can.

Address Problems Now, Not Later

If you happen to come across substances or paraphernalia in the home, then it is even more imperative to discuss it with your children and address the issue immediately. After all, research has shown that when kids and teens abuse drugs at such a young age, they are put at greater risk of developing a substance use disorder later on.

Inform Your Kids about Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Many children and teens turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate or deal with problems in their life, so if you let them know about healthier coping skills early on, they may have a better option when facing a problem or difficult situation in their life. Healthy coping mechanisms can include running, writing, playing sports, talking to a friend, drawing, singing, and more.

Speak about It like the Public Health Issue It Is

Tone can transform a conversation entirely. That’s why it is important to speak to your children in the same way that you would when you tell them it’s important to get some exercise and eat nutritious food. Placing importance on how you want your child and teen to have their best life can make a positive difference when speaking about drugs.

Understanding Drug Abuse & Drug Addiction

The reality about drug addiction is that the best way to stop is to never start, but it’s not as simple as “just saying no.” When speaking to your children, you should aim to have what you say come out of concern and a desire for them to lead successful, happy lives. It’s never easy to speaking to kids about drugs, but it’s a problem that the nation cannot afford to ignore. Do your best and pay attention to the way your children and teenagers act.

If you or your child is struggling with drug abuse or drug addiction, help is available. Call The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.


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