Drug abuse is one of the mostpersistent and perilous problems of the modern world. Even thoughpeople of all ages are known to abuse drugs, the most common agegroup that is prone to this sort of illegal activity are teenagersand younger adults.
Drug abuse is related to numerousproblems and, taking into consideration the fact that parents have agreat influence on their children's activities and attitudes, theyneed to intervene timely, preventing drug abuse in their children orproviding timely treatment for this serious problem.
Drug Abuse in Children
During the stage of adolescence,children are under great pressure, wanting to fit in the society theyconsider themselves to be a part of and giving their best to expressthemselves. Sometimes, these changes, combined with the natural,hormonal fluctuations which are common for adolescents, contribute tomisbehavior through a desire to be different from all other peers,succumbing to peer pressure or even overcoming anxiety anddepression, along with all of their symptoms. These situations caneasily push or direct children towards drug abuse. Unfortunately,once they lose track on this road, countless health problems cancross their path.
In order for parents to be capable ofhelping their children, regarding drug abuse, they first need to becapable of noticing this form of problem. Namely, there are manydifferent behavioral changes which affect an adolescent, once he/shestarts abusing drugs. Therefore, parents need to inform themselvesabout these signs, knowing how to recognize the issue and reactbefore any major damage is done. Of course, helping a child who got“hooked” on drugs is not an easy task and it cannot be dealt withthrough a 5 minute conversation or a threat.
Rather, in order to communicate withyour child effectively and prevent or diagnose drug abuse you areadvised to develop a carefully designed plan through which you willpresent the facts, listen to your child, discuss any pendingproblems, set some ground rules, reward good behavior and punish badone, create figurative road blocks which will prevent the child fromstraying in life, and maintain this healthy form of communication andhealth maintenance.
Of course, the first thing to be on thelookout for is your child's behavior. Simply, drug abuse can changehis/her personality, so you might need to be a good drug detective inorder to notice any changes of this type early.
Also, you will need to inform yourselfabout different types of drugs and the effects these lead to. Do yourown research and, even if your child shows no tendency towards drugabuse, teach him/her about this problem and all the flaws it carrieswith it.
Apart from the knowledge obtaining andpreparations, you will need to pay attention to a couple of otherthings. These are noted in the lines below.
What Should Parents Do?
Initially, create a habit in your childto report where he/she has been, who she/he has spent time with, whenand where these occurrences took place etc. This will allow you abetter insight into your child's life without raising any groundlesssuspicions.
Be direct and tell your children thatyou strongly disapprove of them drinking alcoholic beverages, smokingor abusing drugs because you love them and care for them and theirhealth. Once you make these kinds of ground rules, make sure thatyour teenager is well aware of them and the importance they carry.
Some other steps you can take ismonitoring your child's Internet use and providing a good role modelfigure. After all, children look up to their parents and, if youcannot stop smoking or abusing alcohol, you cannot possibly presentthe voice of reason to your child.
When talking to your child about drugabuse and other such problems, be open and cooperative rather thanposing a threat. Ask for your child's opinion on the matter of drugs,alcohol and cigarettes and be a good listener before giving anypieces of advice. Also, see whether your child knows all about drugsand their effects on the human body. If not, teach him/her so thathe/she knows how dangerous these things are.
Many times, emotions and suppressedfeelings lead to drug abuse. In order to prevent this, develop aclose relationship with your child and be a person they can count onfor these forms of interaction. Ask your child about his/her feelingsand make sure to be as helpful as possible if any problems take placeon this plan.
Eliminating the substances from yourchild, if he/she is taking drugs is not a step which can solve theproblem. Rather, the child needs to understand that what he/she isdoing is wrong. In order to help him/her this way, you might needprofessional help. If so, do not hesitate to seek one.
All in all, drug abuse is usuallysomething that we believe that our children would never be involvedin. However, teenage age, social and emotional problems they face andmany other issues from their lives may lead them into drug abuse.Therefore, as a parent, you need to be there and see this coming,doing your best to prevent it in a caring, loving and understandingway.