Tips To Raise A Drug-Free Child

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - NEWS - StatePoint

By the time teens grad­u­ate from high school, about 45 per­cent will have tried mar­i­juana, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional In­sti­tute on Drug Abuse. And while mar­i­juana is one of the most used sub­stances among teenagers, it is not the only one of con­cern to­day. The drug epi­demic is an ex­pan­sive and very real pub­lic health cri­sis and fam­i­lies are on the front line when it comes to get­ting pre­ven­tion and re­cov­ery ef­forts un­der­way.

Here are three steps par­ents can take to help keep their kids safe.

1. Com­mu­ni­cate. The best line of de­fense is an open re­la­tion­ship with your chil­dren that en­cour­ages a healthy di­a­logue about the dan­gers of drug use in terms they can un­der­stand. Paired with con­se­quences that will res­onate, like the tak­ing away of free­doms and val­ued items, dis­cus­sions should in­clude talk­ing openly about the ef­fects of drugs like mar­i­juana, heroin, co­caine and metham­phetamine on a user’s health and well­ness. Be avail­able and will­ing to lis­ten to what­ever your chil­dren have to say with­out in­ter­rupt­ing or los­ing your com­po­sure, en­sur­ing a healthy con­ver­sa­tion where they feel their voices are be­ing heard.

2. Have a Plan and Of­fer Priv­i­leges and In­cen­tives. In the home, pre­scrip­tion drugs such as opi­oids and stim­u­lants should be locked away safely, ac­ces­si­ble only to the per­son to whom they’re pre­scribed. If those drugs are pre­scribed to your child, mon­i­tor use of the med­i­ca­tion, and keep it stored in your bath­room rather than your child’s.

Par­ents who sus­pect their child may be fac­ing peer pres­sure or abus­ing drugs should con­sider us­ing a home drug test. Sold at ma­jor re­tail­ers in the phar­macy sec­tion, First Check Home Drug Tests are a quick and ac­ces­si­ble re­source for par­ents con­cerned about their chil­dren’s health. Over 99 per­cent ac­cu­rate, these kits de­liver re­sults in five min­utes, test­ing for the pres­ence of up to 14 com­monly abused drugs.

Your drug pre­ven­tion plan may also in­clude a sys­tem of re­wards for pass­ing home drug tests, in­clud­ing car priv­i­leges and other tan­gi­ble in­cen­tives.

3. Strate­gize Say­ing “No.” Strate­gize with your chil­dren on how to say “no” when pres­sured to use drugs, while also re­in­forc­ing the “why.” Rea­sons to say “no” can be any­thing from not want­ing to harm one’s grades, health or ath­letic po­ten­tial, or even just the fact that you im­ple­ment home drug test­ing. To that end, con­sider home drug test­ing as a way to take the pres­sure off your chil­dren, giv­ing them an easy out in so­cial sit­u­a­tions where drugs are in­tro­duced, while sav­ing face with peers. You can even give them a line to use on their friends, such as, “I can’t, my par­ents are crazy and they drug test me!”

More tips to help raise drug-free kids can be found at not­mykid.org.

Drug use is a chal­leng­ing is­sue to nav­i­gate, but with a few pre­ven­ta­tive ac­tions and an open dis­course, you can foster a healthy, drug-free en­vi­ron­ment for your fam­ily.

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