Dealing with teenagers and drugs
There are no hard and fast rules on handling known or suspected drug use by your children. These guidelines might help:
- • Don’t panic. This is only likely to make you angry and start giving orders. This will not encourage your child to talk about the problem.
- • Don’t be judgmental. This will only turn the teenager off. You need to be honest about your concerns and encourage your child to talk about what they are taking and if there are any special reasons why they are using drugs. Ask them about the good things they get from drugs, but ask them too about the bad side. Ask if they are aware of the dangers.
- • Listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt them. Make it a discussion, not an argument.
- • Educate yourself and your children about the problems drugs can cause. Most young people are ignorant of the facts, basing their beliefs on what they hear from friends.
Although many children will experiment with drugs, most of them will come to no harm and will find better ways of spending their money. Talking with them about drugs in an open, non-threatening way is the best approach parents can take to help their children through this difficult time in their lives.