Drugs and Alcohol
Featured,  Parenting,  Teens

4 Ways to Discuss Drugs and Alcohol with Your Teen

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of the best things ever to happen to me has got to be becoming a parent. It has taught me so much throughout the years, and some of them have been challenging. I’ve said numerous times that it’s more difficult being a parent in this day and age than any other. We can’t hide things from our kids because they’re dangerous because they most likely know about them before the parents. Social media has changed the game for everyone, and that’s why it’s very important to keep up with what’s going on with them at all times. One of the things I’ve talked to my kids the most about is the repercussions of using drugs. Trust me, I’ve met and discussed with several parents who don’t talk with their kids about it because they feel they don’t have to.

Teach Your Kids About Different Drugs

With this week being National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM , this would be a great time to have that discussion. For me, I asked my teenagers if they know anything about drugs and alcohol. Of course, they know about it because there are kids at school that smoke marijuana, drink “lean” and are heavy users of e-cigs. Afterwards, I shared with them facts about the dangers of drugs, and hopefully they won’t have those temptations when pressured. While there are many myths out there about the effects of drugs, always be real with them because they’re smarter than you give them credit for sometimes. For parents to become more aware, there’s a website that teaches you drug and alcohol facts.

Take the IQ Challenge!

Educate Yourself

I’ll admit that I thought I knew everything you need to know about drugs and alcohol, but I was wrong. Parents, please take the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge because there’s some helpful information to know. I learned that the most popular drugs amongst high school seniors after alcohol and marijuana are e-cigarettes. Trust me, I’ve studied so much about the different types of drugs kids use and the damage it does to the body. When I took the Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge I thought I knew everything, but I scored 83%.

Questions to Ask Your Teen

The government has created a website about drug abuse. One of the things they talk about is doing a family checkup. They ask five questions that involve communication, encouragement, negotiation, setting limits and supervision. One of the things they believe in is that positive parenting prevents drug abuse and I definitely agree. Remember to use the information because it’s based on scientific studies not hearsay.

What If My Teen Abuses Drugs?

One thing we don’t want to see as parents is our kids misusing drugs. Most likely, there are signs that your child is using drugs, but sometimes parents ignore them or are in denial. If they start hanging around a new set of friends, stop caring about how they look and start missing classes, then you should be worried. Trust me, you know your child and will pick up on the change almost immediately. They may also start getting in trouble with the law, or in school, and you may see a decline in their school work. Don’t turn your back on them; instead get them some professional help. If the drug habit becomes an addiction, there are specialists out there that could help get them back on the right track. There’s a great booklet called Drugs: SHATTER THE MYTHS, SM, which is free online or you can download the PDF file.

More About National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM

National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM is an annual, week-long observance that brings together teens and scientific experts to shatter myths about substance use and addiction. The observance will be held January 23-29, 2017, and is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health.

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