Talking to your child about the pressures of drug use is key to prevention, however you may have found that they have already tried drugs. If you know that your child is using drugs, it’s not too late to take action. Although it is a frightening reality for a parent to face, it is necessary to communicate with your child in order to prevent the drug abuse from worsening and to find a solution. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has supplied a simple response plan for parents dealing with this challenging situation.
Step 1: Get focused and stay calm. Being level-headed will help you to respond in the most efficient way.
Step 2: Prepare/start talking in a calm manner with your child. Share your concerns and also listen to what your child has to say. Try to understand the underlying reasons why they began using drugs.
Step 3: Set clear limits and rules and communicate that failure to adhere to rules with result in consequences.
Step 4: Monitor your child’s activity and interaction with friends and do not feel guilty about searching for evidence of drug use.
Step 5: Get outside help from the community. Your child’s school counselor, doctor, and/or mentor are great resources to consult. If the child’s drug use has become an addiction, then a detox or rehabilitation center may be necessary.
A parent should be a safe adult for a child to confide in about any issue they may be facing, including drug use. Remember to stay focused on the solution and keep communication lines open with your child, reminding them that you care and support them.