Can we protect our Children from Drugs?
When and How should we talk to our children
about the dangers of drugs?
In an ideal world drugs would not exist and we wouldn’t have to worry about talking to kids about drugs. Unfortunately drugs are readily available in more places than we care to imagine in many forms including legal highs which can be purchased from legitimate stores.
We hope that our children will be educated at school about the dangers of drugs and we as parents can talk to them and explain about different drugs including the dangers they can have even just by taking drugs once.
I speak very openly with my son’s about most things and I have spoken with them in detail about drugs and the effects that they can have on you. I have especially focused on ecstasy (at this time) and how even if your friend takes one and appears fine, It can react differently to different people (According to studies).
See the study report on ecstasy here
Only this Morning ,I heard the sad news of the 16-year-old school boy Daniel Spargo-Mabbs, who died after taking ecstasy for the first time. Even though we can not force our children to choose the right path in life and avoid taking drugs, we can give them the tools to hopefully make the right decisions and above all be confident and informed enough to say No to peer pressure.
Daniel Spargo-Mabbs story here
Be open with your child and talk
I for one as a parent will talk to my two boys tonight and tell them the devastating news of this young school boy, I will not preach, I will just discuss with them the dangers of even trying it once. I will include my 11-year-old in this conversation as I feel he is at the right age to be informed of the dangers of drugs now that he is in high school.
As your kids grow older, you can begin conversations with them by asking them what they think about drugs. This can be done by simply asking key questions like “HAVE YOU EVER BEEN OFFERED DRUGS ?” and “WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DRUGS ?” I always try to ask questions in a non-judgemental way allowing them to speak and have their honest opinion on the topic. I know my children are very responsive to being spoken and even better at giving their views which are generally strong and most of all honest.
My Children ages are 11 and 17 years old and both will talk openly to me and my husband about even the toughest of topics.I feel by speaking to my children in this way leaves the conversation fluent and allows them to come back with questions at any time they feel it necessary (This way i don’t feel as though I am preaching at them).
I will answer any questions they have during our conversation and hopefully I will know the correct thing to say to them and if I do not know the answer, I will find it out for them through researching at the library or by using google or even speaking to my G.P.
I do believe Parents should also be taught drug awareness in school as there are so many new drugs out with new names that I am unaware of and would not know the signs to look for in someone who has taken certain drugs. I need to be more up to date with the drugs that are out there now.
Why Do I Worry? (Here is a little story)
My son who was actually 16-year-old at the time was actually offered drugs on his first day at college. This took place a few hundred yards away from the college itself, whilst in company with his tutors (Can you believe that I would say to these people get some morals). Two men were walking alongside my son and his friend whilst they walked slightly behind the rest of the college group who were heading to a local art gallery to research for a project. One of these males approached my son and asked him if he smoked, My son replied “NO” the male then asked him if he wanted any ‘BERRIES’ and my son said “NO” again. Now after being sensible told “NO” by my son the male clenched his fist and tapped my sons knuckles stating “RESPECT MAN”. The male then walked away and left my son and his friend alone Thankfully.
BERRIES is a new drug that I know nothing about, I was outraged and shocked to say the least. I can’t believe people (or these drugs dealers) are out there willing to offer drugs to minors never mind anyone else.
I was very happy that my son felt comfortable enough to tell me about it, I stayed calm and didn’t over react even though inside I was raged that this could happen on my son’s first day of real independence. If i would have gone over the top and gone on and on about it he would have never talked to me about anything in the future (I mean would you tell your mum if she harped on about a subject, I know I wouldn’t have).
I strongly believe that friends that take drugs and new friends they meet in college or work can have a big influence over your childs future if you don’t help continue to guide them. Look out for any changes in your Teens personality, asking for more money than usual, or changes to the way they act although can be innocent can also be something to monitor.
No parent, child, or family is immune to the effects of drugs. Some of the best kids can end up in trouble, even when they have made an effort to avoid it and even when they have been given the proper guidance from their parents.
All I can do is hope and trust my children to behave themselves and make the right decisions in life…….. Its just a shame we as parents have to worry about external influences affecting our children’s lives.
If you would like to know more about drugs and street slang I have found the following list to help you determine any new words you may not recognise.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject and please feel free to share your stories, opinions and views on the subject below. Likewise if you have any tips you feel may help any other parent please pass let us know.