Y is for Youth Drug Use

Y

 

The only experience I had of using cannabis was back in the days of San Francisco wear some flowers in your hair, free love and we were all digging ourselves and being totally cool man. I know, it’s a long time ago and thankfully my soiree into substance use was a completely negative experience. The consequences are irrelevant but the reasons I thought it was a good idea are no different to why our youth are tempted to use drugs today.

  1. ‘Everyone else’ is doing it
  2. It’s fun and there is a strong urge to conform in the formative years
  3. It makes them feel good
  4. As a rebellious act towards parental disapproval
  5. Wanting to feel better – depression, peer pressure,
  6. Can increase self-confidence and self esteem
  7. Makes them feel relaxed
  8. Problems appear to disappear or are minimised
  9. Family members use drugs; it is as normal in some homes as drinking tea

How you can help your child stay away from drugs

  1. Be available
  2. Spend time with your children
  3. Listen to them and their opinions
  4. Provide support so they know you will listen to their discussions relating to drug use
  5. Do not minimise their concerns or underestimate their levels of stress
  6. Teach them to be good decision makers
  7. Reward responsible behaviours
  8. Be aware of any change in their behaviours, sleep patterns or mental health
  9. Have KidsLine, Lifeline phone numbers on hand
  10. Make sure they have a phone when they go out
  11. Let them know you will pick them up from anywhere, anytime if they get into difficulty

There is so much information available for parents nowadays that it is easy to become confused. Above all listen to your heart and listen to your child. When you feel out of your depth make sure you have a support network to help you through these times and reach out for professional help: for your child and yourself.

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8 thoughts on “Y is for Youth Drug Use

  1. Such a good post. However, sometimes there is just nothing a parent can do. I raised two sons exactly the same way and sometime in his 20’s the oldest got messed up in the drug world. He’s been clean and not-clean more times than I can count. I have his kids now and have had for 5 years. It is a choice! That is my opinion I don’t believe that addiction is a disease. I enjoy your A to Z however!
    http://smidgensbitsandsnippets.blogspot.com

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    • As a parent it is difficult to watch our children make poor decisions. As an AOD (alcohol and other drug) counsellor I can tell you that nothing is lost and each time he gains abstinence is a building block for the next time. There is always hope and he will reach a point where he has had enough of himself, his lifestyle and choices and that will be the catalyst for long term change. Hang in there Paula, love him and know that you have done what you could and continue to support him as you are raising his children (who look like gorgeous kids). Hugs to you 🙂

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  2. Excellent post with excellent advice, Linda. It is so important to establish a trusting relationship at home with one’s children, otherwise they will never confide their problems.
    Only one more post to go – yay! It has been a great challenge. 🙂

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    • Definitely it is one of the most important things we can do for our children is to create an environment in which they feel safe and heard. Yep, one more post and April will be behind us. What happens then …

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    • Sometimes it can seem like such an easy thing to do – listen, but for many they would just like the opportunity to listen and hear. Sometimes we’re available and our children won’t talk – very sad. Thanx for the visit and comment 🙂

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  3. It’s important to listen to our children for so many reasons. I’m glad you have highlighted that fact in this blog 🙂

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