Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Keeping The Kids Off Drugs’.

March 20, 2021 by  
Filed under Education, Weekly Columns

( Every single person – parent, educator, adult, teenager – has a responsibility to ensure that the younger generations are able to grow up in a safe and comfortable world. We watch the civil unrest and the wars around the world and we know that our children and teenagers are going to be growing up into it – and it’s scary. Parenting in general can be scary, but when it comes to parenting teenagers in a world of uncertainty, it means that we have to make as much effort as possible to keep the kids off drugs, in school and with their heads screwed on.

Teenagers are not fully grown adults yet, and that means that their brains are also not fully developed, either. We have to do what we can to guide our teenagers without pressuring them, and we have to have patience and remember that where their brains are not yet completely developed, they’re going to make mistakes. These mistakes are sometimes difficult to comprehend for parents as they believe that their teenager is “old enough to know better”. The thing is, impulse control is not something that teenagers develop right away and we have to give them room for that. They may think that they are old enough to handle something, but we have to remember that these are still children and they want to impress their friends as much as they want to impress their parents. Helping teenagers to understand the rate of drug crimes is going to help as part of your campaign to keep them off drugs, but when it comes down to it you can literally only wing this stage of life. It’s different if you have had experience with being offered drugs in the past, but if you haven’t, you need to get as literate as possible before you handle this.


Teenagers are not stupid, but they are also irresponsible for now. You have to be the person that leads them down the right path, and we’ve put together ten ways that you can keep the kids off drugs and ensure that you steer them right. Let’s take a look:

* Stay Aware. As an adult, you need to be aware of all of the current issues and rates of drugs and drug crimes. If you’re unaware of what’s going on in the world around you, you’re going to find it hard pressed to keep your teenagers informed. Information is power and if you take the time to learn what is on offer for teenagers right now, you’re going to be able to educate yours with what they need to know. If you learn about the dangerous drugs that are in the streets right now, you will be able to answer questions that your teenagers may come to you with, and you will be able to warn them about what to look for, too. Keeping yourself current is vital if you want to keep your teenagers aware with their eyes open about the dangers.

* The Future. Teenagers are brand new. They are full of energy and life and they have an enthusiasm for the future that wears out some adults. Their futures are laid out before them and they have time to do whatever they want with their lives, and drugs can snatch that future away in a moment. If you have a teenager who is stressed out about school and their job, their responsibilities and their social lives, you need to do what you can to ensure that they are aware of the impact drugs would have on their dreams. They can wipe their whole future clean with one swipe if they turn to drugs to get what they need. Perfect students who have turned to sniffing glue or snorting the hard stuff is a waste. It’s a waste of a life that could be doing more, being more and keeping themselves on track to a bright future.

* Be Blunt. As an adult, especially as a parent, it’s tempting to take the softly-softly approach when it comes to drugs. This isn’t a conversation to be soft over; lip service helps no one. The conversation that you have now needs to have an impact and you have to be real with your kids if you want them to take in what you’re saying. Give them examples and stories, Google the videos of the kids who ended up in prison, on the streets and more just because they made a wrong decision. Explain to them that peer pressure is going to occur, but that succumbing to it doesnt make them cool or “woke”, it makes them stupid and destructive, with zero regard for life. They don’t know the ingredients or the impacts or even if what they’re told they’re taking is the actual thing. They think that the little pill is ecstasy, but really it’s compressed rat poison. Being blunt may be your only way to get through!

* Positive Pressure. Peer pressure, as we mentioned, is going to happen no matter what. You can surround yourself with as much positive peer pressure as possible. Yes, it’s a thing! If you worry about your kids hanging around on street corners, then the important thing is they need a space to be together safely. So, get the local teenagers together including all of their friends, and give them a purpose. Positive pressure like this to join a program that is strong and gives them all a focus is going to keep their minds on this and not on the drugs that they are offered by their acquaintances.

* Don’t Threaten. It’s oh-so-tempting to fling consequences out at your teenager and make them feel like the whole world will crash into the moon if they take drugs. Teenagers rebel – it’s what they do – but putting too many strict measures on them is going to be a surefire way to push them towards the drugs and turn to drug crime. The last thing that you want is for them to try out that fancy new pink drug all because you told them not to. The threats won’t work, but reverse psychology might! Give them all of the information and allow them the freedom to choose for themselves, just remind them that you are here to talk before something goes wrong.

* Prevention First. It’s very easy for a teenager to get stuck in the cycle of trying something just because it’s new. Gateway drugs are known to be cigarettes and alcohol, and once they have tried one of these, it’s much easier to say yes to the other drugs out there. When it comes to a smoke behind the school buildings, or a drink of alcohol in the Christmas season, and dismissing it as “kids being kids” isn’t going to help them at all. Prevention is better than trying to drag them to rehab later, so make sure that they know what the dangers of starting with cigarettes and alcohol are before they can even get a chance to turn to drugs.

* Know Their People. Who is your teenager hanging around with? Where are your teenagers going after school? You don’t need to lojack your teenager, but you do need to know where they are headed and who influences them when you’re not around. It’s so important that you know who is in the life of your teenager. Don’t just shrug off the fact that they’re with friends, make a point of meeting them. If you can, get to know their parents, too. Drugs always start with their friends – the friend that says that “it will make you feel good”. That’s the friend you can help them to veto.

* A Role Model. Are you taking drugs yourself? Are you excessively smoking? It’s so important that you remember that your teenager is perceptive, and they will be growing up watching you smoke, which means that they are more likely to smoke, too. If you do drugs, you need to stop. It’s time to be a role model for your teenager and clean yourself up. Quit the bad habits yourself so that you can start to model the person you want to be for your kids and they can grow up and see that you are not a hypocrite. Do it for the teenagers in your home and for yourself, too.

* No Shelter. Teenagers do not need to be sheltered from the realities of drugs. They need to see the raw pain it can cause to take drugs and they need to be exposed to it. They’re going to be exposed to the “high” and the “excitement” of it all, so make sure that they see the flipside, too. The harsher side of drugs will help them to see why they should be saying no.

* Make Them Safe. If you want to turn teenagers away from drug crimes, you need to give them a solid place to be, to live. They need to feel safe and secure, and they can better do this when you create the right environment for them. Start now and you will be able to raise whole, healthy teengers.

Staff Writer; Bob Washington

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