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Friday, March 9, 2012

Ways to keep your kids from falling prey to drugs and alcohol


We live in harsh times, and for children that have to survive these days safely they have to be informed about drugs early in life. While many schools may have anti drug programs implemented, many do not. Let's face it, the once a year "Say No to Drugs" program isn't going to get it. When our youth have to not only face the dangers of drugs on the streets, but often are exposed to them at home, we have to make every effort, every day to protect them from this death sentence of drug addiction.











1. Rally the troops
Get support locally, from your church, your teachers, your neighbors and your family. Have group discussions with your family and the children encouraging everyone to share experiences with the children.
2. Bring it up 
Avoiding talking about drugs, or even letting your kid stop you in your tracks with rolled eyes and sighs, is not an option. Whether they realize it or not, by keeping the forum open, you have set the topic free and once they realize you are willing to talk to them and tell them what you know, they will be more likely to open up.
3. Use tools
There are many books, and DVDs on the perils of drug addiction, and use. Watch these with your children and discuss it afterwards. Many libraries have books etc. that you can use to help with your child. If not there are many available online for purchase.
4. Ask Questions
Your child may already know a lot more than you think. Ask questions, pay close attention, sometimes it's what they aren't saying that is the most important.
5. Start early
If you think your children are too young to learn about the dangers of drugs, think again. Most addicts state that they began using and abusing drugs and alcohol by age 12. However there are studies showing that children are beginning much sooner than that in homes where the abuse is already taking place by adults. Why is this relevant to your child? Well these same children go to school with your child and they may introduce your child to drugs even earlier.
6. Get smart
The only way you are going to be really effective in keeping your child safe is when you become educated yourself. Read, research and study all you can. Learn what signs to look for, what symptoms to be on the alert for, and what behaviors can be red flags. If  you don't know what you are talking about, it is only a matter of time before your child realizes it, and there goes your credibility.
7. Get real
If you, or a family member is addicted to drugs, whether they are legal prescription medications or not, or if you or a family member has a drinking problem, your child is at a high risk of developing this disease. Protect them at all costs. Many family members that are under the influence abuse children physically, emotionallly, and sexually.
8. Play it safe
Your child will develop a closer relationship to you and be more willing to communicate openly when they feel safe to say what they are thinking and feeling. Getting angry, or talking too much without letting your son/daughter have their say will only discourage them from opening up. They need to know they are safe to talk about anything with you without fear of retribution or punishment.
9. Don't sugar coat 
 You may feel like softening this topic up for your youngster by saying "drugs are bad, they make you sick," or "you can go to jail for using drugs."  However, children can and should know the truth about drugs. Drugs can and will kill, and the only way to be safe is to never start using them. Period. Be blunt, be direct. It's too serious and too deadly to worry about delicate terms and phrases.
10. Get help 
If you suspect your child  is already abusing drugs and alcohol you must get help NOW. With drug abuse, there may be no tomorrow and so often there isn't. Contact your pediatrician, family doctor, or go to the emergency room if you notice any signs of drug use. The sooner you tackle the problem the better your chances are at being successful.

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