Talk to Your Children about Drugs

Posted on :  March 25th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we enjoy helping people recover from harmful addictions. However, we would enjoy seeing no one ever become addicted to heroin or other narcotics every again. We have learned that when parents talk to their children about the real dangers of illicit drugs that those children are less likely to become addicts when they become adults. When parents talk to their children about drugs more than once the odds of them developing addictions decreases even more.

The Power of Friends

Even though parental involvement is a key to reducing the likelihood of addiction, your children’s friends are an even bigger factor. Parents who are involved in their children’s lives and get to know their children’s friends can make a big difference not only in the lives of their children, but in their friends’ lives, too. Parents should learn to listen and be ready when their children want to talk. They should avoid being judgmental, because that can turn children away from approaching you again.

Starting with Young Children

It is never too early to begin talking to children about drugs. Children as young as preschool age through second grade are ready to listen to their parents about medications because they are aware of the situations that require them. If you have to give your child a dose of children’s Tylenol, you can talk to your child about what the medication does and how to be responsible with it. Your child might ask about other medications that he has taken or that he has seen you take. This is an important time to listen and answer honestly.

You can also take advantage of moments that arise when you are out and about town. You might see someone vaping or smoking, so you can talk to your child about what that is and what it does to the body. Your child will begin to notice other people engaging in smoking or vaping and will talk about what you taught her. Since children between the ages of 3 and 7 have a young vocabulary, it is best to keep your vocabulary developmentally appropriate when you share information. You can be realistic and provide real effects, so your child can learn about the dangers. At Towards Recovery Clinic, we can help answer questions or your child’s pediatrician can do the same.

School-Age Children

Young school age children will benefit from more conversations about the dangers of drugs. They will hear more about them from their teachers and their classmates, so you need to be able to address questions they will have. Again, being honest and free of judgment will keep your children coming back to talk to you. Because young school-age children are more likely to talk to their parents, it is wise for parents to use this time to talk about things that can be uncomfortable. Once children become middle-school age, they are less likely to talk openly about their feelings.

By being available, you will continue to reinforce that you really are always there. You might not have long discussions each time, the fact that you are willing to listen is a good thing. At this age, children might start to ask about steroid use or about drug abuse they see on television and in the movies.

The Teen Years

During the teen years, children will be exposed to peers who use drugs or alcohol. They will also know people who have driven will high or drunk, too. Many teens are still willing to trust in their parents when it comes to questions about drugs and alcohol, especially if they have been able to talk to their parents in previous years. During the teen years, parents should discuss the dangers, legal issues, monetary problems, and physical problems that come from being under the influence.

Many parents will use contracts with their teens, especially when it comes time for their teens to drive. These contracts can be about promising not to get into cars with friends who may have been drinking. You could also talk about how friends should not drink in your teen’s car. With open conversations, you can make your expectations clear and your rules understandable.

If you have any questions about addiction, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.