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Kids – How can I keep my kids off drugs?

youth-soccerKeeping kids off drugs centers on family influence and includes the personal issues of smoking and mental health.

Good Family Influence

Keeping kids off drugs starts with being a good parent.  Live right yourself.  Demonstrate how to keep boundaries, how to establish limits and how to keep yourself honest.  Want information on good parenting choices?  Here’s a page full.

Pray for your child. Each child is complex and precious – a gift from God.

You have a good imagination.  Dream up creative ways to warn your children of the dangers of drug use.  Most kids are concrete learners, so use pictures or illustrations or games to show them the ugly effects of opioid drugs.

Start early teaching your very young child the dangers of strangers and the proper use of drugs.  Here are ways parents talk with kids about drugs:  1) from Kids Health and 2) from Teen Challenge.

Bad Family Influence

A child in a home where adults use illicit opioids is living a formula for disaster.  When you were a child, if adults in your home used illicit drugs, you risk addiction yourself and should avoid opioids.

Tell your children, “We have family problems with this stuff, so we need to just stay clear of illicit drugs.  In fact, we only take opioids under the close supervision of a doctor.”

Someone has to break the vicious cycle of bad family influence.   Let that someone be you.

Sexual Abuse

Among bad family influences, sexual abuse is most vicious and often leads to addiction, so remember that your child’s future is in your hands.

  1. Watch over your children.  If you see a problem, talk with grandparents, family friends, the Dept of Human Resources, your doctor, or law officer.
  2. Search the internet about security for your children.  Learn how to keep predators away from your child.
  3. Monitor the net.  Watch where your kids go on line and who they talkwith. Talk with your child about the dangers.  Consider using one of the internet protection programs.
  4. Know who your child is with.  Before you OK an overnight at a friend’s house, personally check that family out, OK?
  5. Teach about strangers and how to stand up for yourself.  Maybe enroll your child in a self defense course.
  6. Teach about touching – what is appropriate and what is not.
  7. Watch behavior.  A young child sexually abused will show an abrupt change, a decline in behavior.  Get with your doctor ASAP and make sure your child is safe until everything can get sorted out.

A Way Out of Bad Family Influence

Here’s where a child in a bad family influence can find help:

Good people here will help a child escape.

Smoking

Chain smoking correlates with opioid addiction.  Are you a chain smoker?  Is a loved one a chain smoker?  Ask your doctor how to stop.

Mental Health

Children with mental health problems – even brain disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – are at risk of addiction. Address these issues through your local mental health services.  Rather than letting a mental health problem push your child down, help your child discover how to stand and be a success.

If you had mental health issues as a child, elicit drugs are ten times as dangerous for you. If your doctor prescribes an opioid for pain, tell the doctor all about your history. Don’t take the medicine for anything other than pain —

  • not for sleep
  • not to feel good
  • not for energy
  • not to calm your nerves

If you take it for any non-pain symptoms, you are stepping into addiction.

Summary

Keeping kids off drugs touches on the personal issues of smoking and mental health, but at the center of the question stands family influence.

Do you have drug-related concerns about friends or family members?  Invite them to click on articles in this series as we explore how people relate to opioid drugs with freedom, dependency, or addiction.

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Disclaimer:

This column is for information and education only and is not intended to be a substitute for seeing a medical provider for healthcare attention. This web site does not diagnose or treat any medical disease, disorder, ailment, etc., or otherwise practice medicine. Always consult your healthcare provider prior to embarking on or making any changes in any medical or psychiatric problems. Dr. Buckmaster does not receive funding from any pharmaceutical company, but is a self-reliant, independent, solo-practicing physician.

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