Drug addiction is not uncommon in children and affects about 15-20% of teenagers.
It is perfectly natural for parents to be worried about their child’s drug usage even if they don’t exhibit any signs of addiction.
There are many factors which can contribute to misuse of drugs in children and it is important that parents are aware and well educated about them.
It is always better to take steps to prevent addiction than trying to repair the damage later on.
1. Have An Open Conversation About Drugs
Many parents refrain from talking to their children about drugs because they fear it would make them more eager to experiment with them. While some parents are not properly educated about drugs themselves.
However, it is important to have an open conversation with your child about drugs and their harmful side effects before he or she decides to experiment with them.
In fact the earlier parents educate their children and set boundaries, the less likely their children will be involved with drugs when they get older.
Avoiding the conversation isn’t going to help the problem, rather it could lead to the child underestimating the effects of drugs.
So make it a point to educate your child from an early age.
2. Establish Rules
While parents are advised not to be too controlling, they should establish rules regarding drug usage and make it clear to their child.
For example, you can prohibit your child from attending parties that involve drugs. In the situation your child finds people experimenting with drugs at any party, he or she should be advised to leave immediately.
Similarly, make it clear that your child should not ride in any car or vehicle whose driver is found taking drugs.
If the child breaks any rule, enforce appropriate punishment.
3. Keep Track Of Drugs In Your Own Home
Surprisingly many children raid their parent’s cabinets for prescription drugs without them being aware of it.
If you have a medical condition that requires you to take prescription drugs, make sure they are in a place that is inaccessible to your child.
Lock your medicine cabinet when you are not using it.
4. Be Involved In Your Child’s Life
Very often children take drugs because of emotional neglect or isolation. In fact, a good percentage of teen drug abuse stems from this.
Parents who have very busy schedules and rarely pay attention to their children won’t know what their child is going through.
As a parent, it is crucial you stay up to date about your child’s whereabouts and the activities he or she is participating in.
Offer emotional support when your child needs it and listen to him. Answer any questions he might have and encourage open discussions. This will make your child feel more comfortable with opening up about his problems.
5. Be A Role Model
Statistics show that children whose parents use drugs are more likely to be involved in substance abuse compared to those who don’t.
It is a well known fact that children are heavily influenced by their parent’s behavior and habits.
Even if you have used drugs in the past, make sure you stay clean and maintain a drug free household.
Teach them how to cope with their problems and difficult situations without drugs.
6. Know Who Your Child’s Friends Are
If your child has friends who use drugs, it is likely he or she could be involved as well.
Peer pressure can influence your child to experiment with drugs and continue with it to keep up or stay a part of the social circle.
Make sure you know your child’s friends and the activities they participate in.
If you suspect anything, strongly advise him or her to maintain a distance.
7. Create A Safe And Positive Environment In Your Home
A safe and positive environment will help build your child’s self esteem and motivate him to face his problems.
Children who feel neglected and isolated tend to turn towards drugs for temporary satisfaction and relief.
Parents should show love and affection to their child and be involved in their life.
Practicing the above steps can go a long way in preventing your child from drug addiction. If your child needs help do not hesitate to reach out to an addiction center.