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Worried about your childs drug use

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If you are worried about your children and drugs there are things that are useful to think about in terms of how you approach them with your concerns. If you still have an open and close relationship with your child it will be easier to bring up a conversation and voice your worries, but if not, communication may feel more difficult.

Stay open-minded

It is important that you stay calm and open minded because anxiety and panic will create tension in the conversation and may cause your child to shut down. Try to have a relaxed and general conversation about how things are going with friendships, school and anything else that they are involved in. Be as straight with them as possible and take responsibility for your own feelings – let them know that you are worried rather than blaming them for your concerns.

Are they taking drugs?

If you know that they are taking drugs see if you can find out from them how much they know about what they are doing and whether they are aware of risks and are taking precautions. If you have the attitude that some recreational drug use is fairly common and you are not going to get stressed about occasional use, it is still a good idea to ensure that they have access to clear information and are aware of basic safety steps such as:

• Never taking drugs alone

• Always letting someone else know what they have taken

• Making sure that they know the person that they are buying from.

Are you worried about your child’s drug use?

worried about your childs drug useIf your child’s drug use is a worry to you be clear with them what your concerns are. Let them know how you believe it is affecting them and what risks they are taking . Try to stick to facts rather than stories and aim to have a two way conversation with them.

Think through your anxieties before you communicate them and talk them through with your partner or a good friend first – be open to hearing their feedback on what you are saying. Whilst it is extremely important to raise this with your child, if you are concerned it is also very easy to get frightened about teenage drug use and jump to lots of conclusions about it.

Ask your child directly what they would do in an emergency and what danger signs they would look out for. Check that they are aware of the risks of mixing substances with alcohol and that they understand that behaviours and inhibitions can be altered when under the influence of certain drugs.

Why are they taking drugs?

Be clear with them about your own boundaries in terms of drug use at home. Remember that the homeowner risks being prosecuted if drugs are taken on their premises. Give them some guidelines that make sense to them, for example talk about the risks of increasing drug use or changing to a more intense method of taking them such as injecting. More importantly, ask them what their reasons for taking drugs are and let them know that drugs are only a very temporary solution to any stresses or challenges in life and that ultimately these need to be faced with alternative ways.

Be informed

It will be helpful for you to read some information first so that you are coming from an informed view point rather than a fear based reaction. The website Talk to Frank www.talktofrank.com has information on each drug and lots of useful and common questions and answers. There are also local organisations in different towns and cities that specialise in drugs awareness and information and you could phone one of these to talk through your concerns and ask for some help in approaching your child.

 

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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