Drug abuse is one of the most persistent and perilous problems of the modern world. Even though people of all ages are known to abuse drugs, the most common age group that is prone to this sort of illegal activity are teenagers and younger adults.
Drug abuse is related to numerous problems and, taking into consideration the fact that parents have a great influence on their children's activities and attitudes, they need to intervene timely, preventing drug abuse in their children or providing 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 they consider themselves to be a part of and giving their best to express themselves. Sometimes, these changes, combined with the natural, hormonal fluctuations which are common for adolescents, contribute to misbehavior through a desire to be different from all other peers, succumbing to peer pressure or even overcoming anxiety and depression, along with all of their symptoms. These situations can easily push or direct children towards drug abuse. Unfortunately, once they lose track on this road, countless health problems can cross their path.
In order for parents to be capable of helping their children, regarding drug abuse, they first need to be capable of noticing this form of problem. Namely, there are many different behavioral changes which affect an adolescent, once he/she starts abusing drugs. Therefore, parents need to inform themselves about these signs, knowing how to recognize the issue and react before 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 with through a 5 minute conversation or a threat.
Rather, in order to communicate with your child effectively and prevent or diagnose drug abuse you are advised to develop a carefully designed plan through which you will present the facts, listen to your child, discuss any pending problems, set some ground rules, reward good behavior and punish bad one, create figurative road blocks which will prevent the child from straying in life, and maintain this healthy form of communication and health maintenance.
Of course, the first thing to be on the lookout for is your child's behavior. Simply, drug abuse can change his/her personality, so you might need to be a good drug detective in order to notice any changes of this type early.
Also, you will need to inform yourself about different types of drugs and the effects these lead to. Do your own research and, even if your child shows no tendency towards drug abuse, teach him/her about this problem and all the flaws it carries with it.
Apart from the knowledge obtaining and preparations, you will need to pay attention to a couple of other things. These are noted in the lines below.
What Should Parents Do?
Initially, create a habit in your child to report where he/she has been, who she/he has spent time with, when and where these occurrences took place etc. This will allow you a better insight into your child's life without raising any groundless suspicions.
Be direct and tell your children that you strongly disapprove of them drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking or abusing drugs because you love them and care for them and their health. Once you make these kinds of ground rules, make sure that your teenager is well aware of them and the importance they carry.
Some other steps you can take is monitoring your child's Internet use and providing a good role model figure. After all, children look up to their parents and, if you cannot stop smoking or abusing alcohol, you cannot possibly present the voice of reason to your child.
When talking to your child about drug abuse and other such problems, be open and cooperative rather than posing a threat. Ask for your child's opinion on the matter of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes and be a good listener before giving any pieces of advice. Also, see whether your child knows all about drugs and their effects on the human body. If not, teach him/her so that he/she knows how dangerous these things are.
Many times, emotions and suppressed feelings lead to drug abuse. In order to prevent this, develop a close relationship with your child and be a person they can count on for these forms of interaction. Ask your child about his/her feelings and make sure to be as helpful as possible if any problems take place on this plan.
Eliminating the substances from your child, if he/she is taking drugs is not a step which can solve the problem. Rather, the child needs to understand that what he/she is doing is wrong. In order to help him/her this way, you might need professional help. If so, do not hesitate to seek one.
All in all, drug abuse is usually something that we believe that our children would never be involved in. However, teenage age, social and emotional problems they face and many 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 understanding way.