Every drug is potentialy dangerous if taken incorreclty. Use this guide to help educate your child about drugs.
Do plenty of research on drugs before you talk to your kids about them. Don't believe anything that public service announcements or government commercials say about drugs. Also, don't trust news stories. These are known to exaggerate facts about drugs, or just flat out lie. For true, knowledgeable information, and up to date information, look online for professionals that you may be able to contact in your area who deal with drug addictions.
Make sure that what you tell your child is factual and true. If you tell them that Marijuana can kill you, which it can't, then they are bound to find out eventually that it won't. They will be hurt that you lied to them, and will have trouble believing other things you say.
Do your best to build your child's confidence and self esteem all throughout their life. Adult drug addicts often had troubled childhoods, and weren't happy. Many teenage drug users take drugs because they want to escape their problems. Simply be fair and resonable with discipline, and make sure your child knows that you love them.
If your child is going through a traumatic experience, such as the death of a loved one, then it's a good idea to put them in therapy to work out their problems. Often adult drug users have had an extremely traumatic experience in their younger years, such as getting raped or molested, a divorce or death in the family, etc.
You should try to tell them about drugs more than once. Its important to start before they hit puberty, at the age of about ten. If they are clearly not interested, then try again some other time. Remember not to lie when talking about drugs. Lying to them is like asking them to do drugs.
There is another very important technique when talking with your child about drugs. Never, ever, ever, EVER tell them not to do drugs. This is especially important in older kids and teenagers. Most teenagers go through phases of rebellion and being "bad". When you forbid them not to do something, especially drugs, it only makes them want to do it more. Tell them that drugs can be harmful, and can be addicting, and they can ruin your life, but don't tell them that they cannot do it.
Your child may become fascinated with drugs, and you may find them researching on the internet and the library about drugs. The knee-jerk reaction is to freak out that they are on drugs, but that is not a good idea. Its a very good thing that they are researching drugs, because that means they are getting the information about drugs you want them to get. Eventually the fascination will go away.
Talk with your child about peer pressure. All children will be pressured at some point, and they should know what to do. Tell your child that if they are in a situation where they feel pressured, the best thing to do is the right thing to do. Tell them not to do anything they don't feel comfortable doing, and that they should always do the right thing. Don't tell your kids to report their friends' drug use. In most cases, they will get the reputation as a "rat", or a "snitch", and it's not worth it. Most teenagers wont allow a tattle tale into their circle of friends, and your child could become an outcast. Make sure they know not to tell on people.
Don't lie to your children about the pleasure aspect of drugs. Tell them something like, "When people take drugs they get high, which is when you feel really happy, dizzy, confused, or dazed. But eventually people can get addicted to drugs and it isn't fun to get high anymore."
If your child is already fifteen or sixteen, then they probably already know about drugs. Make sure that when you give your child a drug lesson that its in terms they can understand.
If you smoke, drink, or take drugs yourself then your child is more at risk for smoking, drinking and taking drugs.
Make sure that your tone of voice doesn't imply you are angry at them. If you are planning on sounding very strict and mad while you give your lesson to try and scare them away from drugs, then don't. They won't respond to you when you are yelling at them. Be calm, but firm.
Remember to present the positives and the negatives of drug use. Presenting the negatives last can help them make their decision. Don't try to downplay the positives of drug use and don't exaggerate the negatives.
Caffiene, tobacco and alcohol are all drugs, and it is a common mistake to not include these.
Many children and teens are under the impression that there is a difference between illegal drugs and OTC, prescription drugs. Let them know that a drug is simply anything that changes normal body function, and all drugs have benefits to them, and side effects. The reason that illegal drugs are illegal is because they have potential for abuse. OTC drugs have a low potential for abuse, and that is why anybody that is at least eighteen can buy them. Prescription drugs need to have doctors approval before using. This is because they have some potential for abuse, and it is illegal to take them without a doctors prescription. Illegal drugs have no accepted medical use, and they are damaging (most of them) to the body and can be addictive. Many illegal drugs have medical use, such as amphetamnines (speed, crystal, crank). Dextroamphetamine and Methamphetamine (crystal meth) are used for ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity.
Chances are that your child will want to taste your wine/beer. Let them have a sip. Most children don't like the taste of alcohol, but some might enjoy it. Remind them the proper way to use drugs.
Do no turn to government supported programs to discourage use. These programs are very inaccurate and are very over exaggerated. Most of the Marijuana information you get on TV is not true and biased.
Learn tolerance for users of drugs. Do not judge someone negatively just because they use drugs. Treat drug users as you would anyone else. Just because they use drugs doesn't mean they are bad people, it means they are people who are using drugs.
There is a difference between drugs when it comes to addictiveness. Most stimulants, like Meth and Cocaine, are very addicting. If somebody gets addicted to them and they can't get the drug, they will go into withdrawal symptoms. Depressants such as Heroin and Vicodin can be addicting as well. Other drugs however, such as Marijuana, Mushrooms, LSD, and Inhalants, aren't addicting. A user of these drugs can become depended on the drug and feel like they need it to function, but they wont have withdrawal effects, like tremors. They may expirience headaches or body aches, and perhaps fatigue, but they go away. It is much easyer to quit dependent drugs than addictive drugs. Remember that you could become depended on anything, tap water, playing video games, etc. You could in theory become depended on a certain sound or smell. As an expiriment, try to stop caffine use. Get decaff coffee, and only get caffine free beverages. Its very hard to do.
If you catch your child trying Marijuana, then its not a big deal. It is perfectly normal to want to change your consiousness, and they shouldn't be severly punished. Compare the punishment of Marijuana use to one of skipping class or failing a test. Remember that Marijuana is one of the safest drugs in existance. It is safer than an aspirin. To take a lethal dose of marijuana, you would have to consume thousands of times your body weight in fifteen minutes. Although remember to check that there is no history of mental illness in your family, as marijuana has been linked to illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Be truthful; do not make up lies about drugs, just use general well-known facts.
Do not use a statement similar to "It's illegal so it must be terrible" While this statement may be appealing because of it's ease of use, remember that illegality does not only come from the negative affects of the drug it also comes from financial and political issues.
Being controlling and overprotective by keeping your child out of 'dangerous' social situations will only cause them to lose respect for you and mistrust your judgment. Remember that the choice is always theirs, and controlling their life will only make them miserable and more prone to use drugs to escape or rebel. Instead, establish mutual trust and respect, and teach them how to honor you by making responsible decisions for themselves.
Your children may ask you about your experience with drugs. Prepare your answer--being honest with them could help them to respect your advice.
It's very hard to guarantee that you, as a parent, will have the ultimate effect. Other circumstances, possibly within the family, could influence the child inadvertently to use drugs. Remember, in a family where drugs are labeled as "bad," any child trying to rebel could see drugs as an effective way to do so.
After finding no information with basis on truth that is anti-marijuana you may have to lie to keep the drug hate going. (this may not agree with your morals.) Simply mention your negative experiences with marijuana, along with some positive ones to be fair. Or explain that some people might not be able to realize or admit to themselves when marijuana is negatively affecting their life.
If you deny that their is any benefit from drug use, or you insist that all drug use (no matter how minor) will have devastating effects, you are setting yourself up to fail. Any child who tries drugs and realizes that your statements were exaggerated or false will simply ignore any other correct information you gave them. It is important to make your argument against drug use to your child well rounded.
Only do this if you actually know for a fact, from first person information, excluding the government. If you lie, or you don't know what your talking about, and you raise a smart kid, they will assume that it's ALL propaganda, and distrust you on every piece of advice.