We can’t be around our children and family members 24 hours a day making sure they don’t abuse drugs. What we can do is equip our family members to make good decisions, resist temptations, and feel safe to communicate experiences in their lives.
Having “the talk” about drug abuse will have to happen different times during your children’s lives as their cognitive abilities to comprehend and understand will change. However, it is never too early to start educating them on the dangers of drugs. Children start receiving medications in their infancy when they receive vaccinations. Medicine which isn’t given to them by a doctor or their caregiver can hurt their ability to grow into healthy kids and adults.
Teach your children how a prescription and a pharmacy works. Most children aren’t aware of the specific processes which are behind what they are given. Like teaching them where food in the grocery store comes from, it is important to teach them where medication comes from: you go to the doctor, they write a prescription. The prescription is a specific medication which the doctor only wants you to take for a certain amount of days, at certain times, in certain amounts. You go to the pharmacy where the medication comes from. Unless there is a refill, medications are only meant to be used one time. Using medication outside of what the doctor prescribed can hurt the body because medicine is only supposed to be used as prescribed.
Once children are a bit older and can start understanding consequences, it’s important to talk about the why and how of drug abuse. People abuse drugs for different reasons, not because they are bad people trying to get high. Sometimes people are in a different kind of pain and drugs makes them feel better- even though that isn’t the right way to treat their pain. Drug abuse can be genetic due to other addictions or mental health disorders in the family. Genetic predisposition can cause a tendency toward risk taking and thrill seeking, or avoiding feelings. After discussing the why, discuss how drug abuse can affect someone’s lives. Kids are smart and resilient. They don’t need to hear the horrors of drug abuse as a fear incentive. Instead, explain to them that it isn’t really possible to control drug abuse, rather, drug abuse will eventually control them.
Ask them what they hear about using drugs at school, if they’ve thought about it, tried it, or been asked to. Encourage them to open up about what they know and what they think about drugs how the idea makes them feel. Children need to have the ability to exercise emotional authority in their lives. Instead of lecturing, invite them to be part of the experience. Together as a family we can be well informed against drug abuse.
Hired Power wants to help you bring recovery home. Our recovery services help your family heal one step at a time. Bringing personal experience and trained professionalism, our family is here to be a part of yours. For more information, call us today at 1-800-910-9299.
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