It’s not just drug dealers that make it available, our own medicine cabinets can be a source to get drugs. Today, doctors are prescribing FDA-approved drugs at an alarming rate, creating a generation of addicted people and that does include our children. So what can we do as parents to help navigate our children through this drug epidemic in this crucial time?
One of the most important things that you can do is to honestly communicate with your child.
Take opportunities when they come to explain the nature of things to your children, including the current drug epidemic in America. Remember, your child is going to be exposed to these at some point, better that it comes from you. Let them witness and learn about all the devastating affects that the drugs are having on families. This visual can be very effective and long-lasting and serve as a reminder.Another thing you can do is create a nurturing supportive environment for your child. When you create this type of environment, the child is more likely to confide in you and open up if they are experiencing issues with drugs or any other matter that might be affecting them. Put on the other hand if you display behavior towards them that does not create a sense of trust, safety and comfort,”for example”using demeaning language, being confrontational ,abusive or accusatory, the child will not feel safe and will not open up.
So here is what can be done and what you should look for, to know if your child is using drugs, or having some sort of crisis.
- 1. Listen carefully to everything that your child says to you or anyone else. (especially their friends) You’ll be amazed at what you can learn,when you listen carefully and become an expert at reading in between the lines.
- 2. Know what your child is doing! Snoop around their room, social media, cell phones, anything that will give you insight into their dealings. (You are there Guardian, consider yourself a detective when it comes to your child. You need to know about anything that might cause injury to your child), but never let them, or anyone else know, under any circumstances that you are doing these things. If your child finds out, they will feel anger towards you and not want to confide in you. So remember mum’s the word.
- 3. So let’s say you find drugs. The best thing to do is to approach them lovingly and support them, don’t condemn! Let them know that they can come to you for help without fear of rejection. If you have already worked on creating a nurturing environment, this will help in the long run). At this point, I would strongly consider contacting a professional addiction specialist, such as myself.
- 4. We are all creatures of habit. So pay close attention to what and how they do things. If you notice a change in the routines, habits and behaviors, for example changes in appearance, irritability, hostile behavior, sleeping more than usual, not interested in family affairs, school performance declines, going straight to their room when they get home, isolating, these are all red flags, and you should immediately take note and intervene.
- At this point, I recommend you seek help from a professional, to assist on how to address the problem, without causing further damage. Do all you can to save your child, even if you’re met with resistance, they’ll thank you in the end.
Frank Cruz, The Sober Guardian www.thesoberguardian.com