When is the right time to speak to your children about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes? NOW!
With Ghada Abdallah, RPh.
Did you know that children who heard about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs.?
It has been widely reported that we are in the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic. There is no better time to talk to your kids than now.
Children will be exposed to all kinds of things from their friends, pop culture, TV, or the news. It’s better for your child to learn about these things from their parents before being confronted with making a decision. Be honest and don’t sugar coat or hide the truth from them.
If they are empowered with the knowledge about the risks, they can make a better decision when they are faced with a challenge.
Here are some tips for today’s modern families with children who are in school:
- Talk to your children regularly. Be active in your children’s lives.
- Be the disciplinarian. Set curfews, know where they are, who they are with, etc.
- Know your child’s friends and friends’ families.
- Monitor their social media.
- If your immediate family is affected by addiction, join Al-Anon or other support groups. If you or your spouse is an addict join AA or NA.
- Address mental or behavioral health issues with a professional early on.
- Dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medications properly.
Drugabuse.gov has an excellent resource available called Family Checkup. It includes evidence-based practices for communicating with your family members.
Lastly, look at what you can do within your home, at work, or in your profession to change the culture if needed. Be proactive in making the changes that will help in a positive way.