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What's the best way to talk to kids about drugs?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by k9cb, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    It's my impression that the best way to stop addiction in children is prevention. That being said, it seems like certain kids always find a way to get into trouble. I remember growing up, we would have DARE classes, where we learned about the dangers of drugs and other negative behaviors. I know for a fact it didn't work for some kids, but I don't really see what else could be done to prevent this behavior.

    I do think parents play a vital role, for example, but even if you do all the right things, it seems like some kids just aren't going to respond to positive reinforcement or education.

    What else needs to be done?
  2. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Not just prevention but education. Talk to children about what they are going to find outside their home is a way approach to give them all necessary "weapons" to avoid they may fall for an addiction or being victimized in any other of the many issues they will find while growing up.
  3. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    I agree that education is huge, but what specifically do you think kids should be taught and in what way? Do you think they should be taught about drugs or just to avoid them? Personally I think the more well-informed, the better. Also, what other types of situations of victimization do you mean? Bullying and violence, or others?
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I believe parents have the lead role in educating young people about drugs, alcohol, and addiction. The U.S. government has quietly taken away all funding for drug education in schools. There is nothing like DARE in schools today. Parents need to be proactive and start talking to their kids about drugs at a very early age. I don't think the message about the hazards of drugs and addiction can be repeated too often.

    I also believe that pediatricians could play a part in the education. Why can't a pediatrician talk to a child about the ill effects that cigarettes, alcohol, RX drugs, and street drugs can have on a person? Maybe that would help with prevention.

    As far as what to teach the kids? Be totally open and honest with them. I agree with you, @k9cb: the more well-informed, the better. I don't think sugarcoating information about drugs, the dangers they pose, addiction, etc. is the way to go. Lay it all out for them so they know the real truth.
    k9cb and Rainman like this.
  5. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    A "question and answer session" would work better than a lengthy lecture on drugs. Start at the lowest level. Ask the child if they know anything about drugs then together you can work your way upwards. Once their curiosity is piqued it will be relatively easier to lead them [with your answers] in the right direction.

    And always be direct. Tell the truth if your child wants to know if you ever used drugs. If you did admit it and tell them why you had to stop using the drugs. Honesty goes a long way towards building trust and you need it if you'll have your kid use you as their confidant.
    deanokat likes this.
  6. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    My approach on this subject is similar to the education I received from my own parents; they talked to me about what could find in my way. Information didn't come all at once, but according their criteria through the different stages of childhood and adolescence.

    They talked to me about alcohol, smoking drugs, bullying, foul language, sexual harassment, and so on. My parents explained me all what they thought I needed to know because, at a time, they knew something; if they wouldn't tell me, I would find all those things on my own.

    But it's not the same your parents tell you what is all about in an attempt to avoid you try wrong things, that going into the world blindly discovering them alone and often mislead by others' advice, if any.
    deanokat likes this.
  7. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor


    I agree that parents have the lead role, whether through education or simply support. I think that is also the case even when you have the support of something like D.A.R.E. Speaking of which, is it really out of schools now? As far as I know it still exists. Is it just not as welcomed nowadays?

    That's also an excellent point about pediatricians. I think something as simple as talking to a patient can be beneficial for their health in a way that more direct or invasive treatments simply can't be. As far as I know, even doctors who don't specialize in it are equipped to deal with psychological issues to an extent. Why not deal with this one or with educating their patients about dangerous lifestyle choices in general? I think some certainly do, but I also think it should be more widespread.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @k9cb... I may be wrong about D.A.R.E. It may still be in schools. I don't think it's a government thing, though. I know there's no government money available for drug education in schools. Thanks for keeping me in line! :)
  9. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    You should make them hate drugs at whatever cost. Show them videos that highlights on different drug effects. Give them live examples about drug users in your society. Do not let them to play with drug addicts. You should consider moving if in your location there are so many drug suppliers.
  10. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It could depends per child since they could have different personalities. Right that parents or guardians play a vital role such as being a good role model. They should be supervised well and know what has been happening to them more when not at home.
  11. sofacat

    sofacat Member

    The best way to talk to kids about drugs is to be honest with them and talk to them like they're real people. If all you ever say to your kids is, "Drugs are bad and evil and anyone who does them is destroying their life!" they're very likely going to think that you don't know what you're talking about. Kids are going to run into drugs. They are going to know people who do drugs and who seem to be fine, normally functioning teens.

    In my opinion, the most beneficial thing you can do for your child is to keep an open line of communication between you. Talk to them honestly about your worries and concerns about drugs, but more importantly encourage them to tell you anything and reassure them that you won't be mad or freak out if they're honest with you about their experiences with drugs and alcohol. That way they're less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol out of rebellion and are more likely to talk things through with you and understand your concerns. This is what my mother always did for me, and I'm endlessly grateful because I never turned to drugs the way that many of my classmates did. I respected her too much to do that.
  12. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Openly and honestly is a good approach to talking to children about drugs, alcohol, sex and life in general. Be the best examples you can be and pray it helps to shape them into strong,
    responsible individuals. Strength is needed to resist the temptations that are out there.
    deanokat likes this.
  13. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Just show them some images with the effects of drugs on individuals. Yes, it would disgust and mark them a bit if you show them images of meth addicts, but it would also prevent them from trying drugs (they will not know that the drug which did it is meth so they will assume this is how every drug addict ends up). It may be a bit extreme, but it is effective. I still remember how cocaine users' noses looked like when I was first exposed to them.
  14. rapido

    rapido Member

    Give as much information as possible about drugs and how they affect people. Have former addicts talk to the kid about the lure of drugs and their effects. In addition,befriend your kid to ensure that they can confide in your whenenever they are in trouble and you know what they are up to.
  15. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    I think the environment also plays an important role as far as raising a kid is concerned. It's a well known fact that kids who grow up in tough environments for example slums are more prone to abuse drugs compared to say those who live in gated communities. So it would be paramount if necessary to raise your kids in the right environment where possible.
  16. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I already have a plan. I plan to make my kids trust me, be open with me and share everything. I plan to be like a friend to them, but still with the authority of a parent. I'll also talk about how bad drugs are, about how drugs can destroy lives... So hopefully when they are tempted to try they will tell me about it, then I can try to stop them from trying. A lot dutch parents think it's ok to let them experiment with drugs and sex, I don't share those views at all.