Talking to young children about drug abuse

Talking to young children about drug abuse

Preschoolers and children in elementary school are young, curious and impressionable. As a parent, one can use these years to lay the foundation of a drug-free life for their children. This can be achieved by interacting with them in a way that holds their interest and at the same time, inculcates in them the perils of using drugs and alcohol.

However, for most parents, talking to young children about such a sensitive topic could be challenging. Given below are some tips which can help one get started about drug talk with their children without feeling awkward or tense.

  1. Talking to them about prescribed medicines – Young children are often given medicines for flu and infections. These medicines could be in the form of syrups or drops. A parent should use the opportunity of administering the medicine to talk to the child about the importance of taking that medicine, how it has been recommended by a doctor, and why only a small amount is necessary. They should talk about the importance of using medicines which have been specifically prescribed and how taking more than the recommended amount could be dangerous.
  2. Talking to them about the importance of self-care – A healthy body complements a healthy mind. As a parent, one must inoculate the child with the importance of brushing teeth, taking showers, dressing up in clean clothes, eating healthy, engaging in physical activity and maintaining distance from substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. A person committed to self-care is less likely to fall in the vicious cycle of drugs as their morale and confidence levels are high.
  3. Talking to them about drugs which are out of their reach – All households have some medicines stored in their cabinet which should be “out of reach” for children. A parent should tell them about such medicines and also mention how using those could be detrimental for their health. This will help them understand that medicines prescribed to others must not be used at any cost.
  4. Breaking the pattern of negative thinking – Growing children imbibe a lot from their peers and environment. Gradually, they develop different moods and habits and soon these set into patterns. When a child feels frustrated or low, a parent must help them channelize their negative energy into something positive. This is important because usually adults resort to drinking or smoking when they feel sad or depressed. When a child sees this kind of behavior, the chances of them mimicking it are quite high. Therefore, it is important for the parents also to practice self-restraint.
  5. Helping them make plans – A parent must teach his or her child the importance of making plans and focusing on them because oftentimes, an ideal mind might push an individual towards alcohol and drug use. If a play date gets cancelled or their favorite cartoon doesn’t air on TV (weekend), the parent should tell them to utilize that time in doing something constructive like playing with some other toy, studying, tidying up their room, or reading a book.

Road to recovery

Children in preschool and elementary school are in a phase in which they develop life-long habits. It is thus, an ideal time to help them understand good from bad, especially when it comes to drug use.

If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs, reach out to the California Drug Abuse Help. Our 24/7 drug abuse helpline can help you find the best drug rehab centers in California. Call at our helpline number 855-980-1946 to know more about drug rehab centers in southern California or chat online for further advice.