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Parents and drugs

Parents and drugs

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When it comes to issues such as drug taking, kids and teenagers are perhaps more interested in their parents’ opinion than you might think. Therefore, it’s important to chat to your kids about the issues surrounding drugs. But, if you yourself take recreational drugs, or have a drugs problem then that conversation can be a lot more complicated.

Parents who take drugs

If you enjoy taking drugs then you need to consider the influence this will have on your children. You may find they ‘rebel’ by deciding never to take illegal drugs. The chances are you’re passing on the message that drugs are okay. Many children don’t recognise the difference between ‘hard drugs’ and ‘soft drugs’, by taking recreational drugs now and again, you may find yourself legitimising the harder ones, whether you intend to or not.

Facts and figures

According to NHS statistics, 8.6% of adults in the UK have taken illegal drugs in the last year. This figure includes 3.1% who have taken a Class A drug, for example, ecstasy, heroin or cocaine. An estimated two- to three-per cent of children in England and Wales has at least one parent with a serious drug or alcohol problem.

Effects on children

Parents and drugsChildren whose parents have problems with drugs are more likely to suffer from psychological issues, poor grades, poverty and inadequate health care. They are also at an increased risk of abuse and neglect. Lack of supervision and access to illegal drugs in the home can also have horrific consequences for children. Children may also become withdrawn, not want to be at home and develop a lack of trust and respect for their parent. Many are also forced to take on parenting roles, caring for themselves, siblings and their parents, as well as taking responsibility for housework.

Getting help

If drugs are causing problems in your life, or if you’re concerned for someone else, there are places you can turn to for help and support. There are two ways you can go about this – through your GP or by self-referral. A GP will offer advice, provide information on local services and, in some cases, prescribe, alternative to illegal drugs. Drug advice and counselling services are available in most areas of the UK, offering advice and support for those looking to stop taking drugs. Some operate a walk-in system, while others require an appointment, so it’s worth ringing first to check. Your visit and everything you say will remain confidential.

Peer support

Peer support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Families Anonymous can be a valuable source of support for drug abusers and their families. Most areas also run a local group, which can be found through your clinic or health centre.

While taking drugs doesn’t necessarily make someone a bad parent, children in your care, while you are under the influence, are at risk from danger. Your awareness is reduced and reactions are delayed.






About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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