Learn These Things about Drugs Before Your Children Do
by Sara Stringer
You know who else knows more about drugs than you? Drug dealers. Now I’m not saying that you have to have a drug dealer’s knowledge of drugs to be a good parent… But you should at least know more than your kids. By the time your kids graduate from high school, they will know what the drug dealers know.
If knowledge is power, and past is prologue, then the dealers might have more power to get your kids hooked on drugs than you have to keep them off. If that doesn’t inspire you to shift the balance of power by gaining a bit of knowledge about drugs, I don’t know what will. Here is a brief primer on the things you need to know:
The first thing you need to know is that you might already be too late. Most of the information you find on the web focuses on teens and drug use. But that information might only serve to give you a false sense of security. It is not just your 15 year old you need to worry about. It is also your 10 year old, and younger.
There is plenty of research linking early drug experimentation with severe addiction problems later on. But other research has found that the problem begins a lot sooner than many parents suspect. In Glasgow and Newcastle (not exactly the first places that come to mind as hotbeds of illicit drugs), Overall, just over 30% of the surveyed children in the 10 – 12 year old range had been exposed to illegal drugs. Almost 4% had already used drugs.
If your kid is in the fourth grade, there is a chance that someone in his class has used drugs. There is an excellent chance your child knows that kid. And there is a not insignificant possibility that your kid is that kid. If you thought this was a “teen” problem, you may already be too late to prevent your kid from setting off on that path.
The good news is that there are rehabilitation programs for people of all ages. Catch the problem soon enough, and it doesn’t have to wreck your child’s entire life potential. It is only when the problem is allowed to progress for years without intervention, that life’s potential is greatly curtailed.
Learn the Language
If you don’t know the language of drugs, your kids and their friends could be announcing their drug use everyday in your presence without you having a clue. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the drug terminology from your day is even remotely compatible with the terminology of today.
If your kids are discussing black tar, black pearl, or brown sugar, they are not referring to construction, buried treasure, or cooking ingredients. They are talking about heroin. The same is true when using words like China red, China white, and smack.
The hit show, “Breaking Bad”, glorified the manufacture and use of crystal methamphetamine. You might hear it referred to as shard, glass, or ice. That might make you think twice about sending your kid out for a bag of ice.
The whole point of drug lingo is to have a shorthand of innocuous words for openly discussing not so innocent things. If you could easily understand it, it wouldn’t be good drug lingo. Take some time to learn the language so that you can be clued into what is really going on.
Learn How to Start the Conversation
By far, the most important thing you can learn about drugs is how to start the conversation about them with your kids. As with all the big conversations, even if you don’t do it well, just doing it might be enough. Along with a helpful guide to age-appropriate conversations, KidsHealth offers this encouragement:
Just as you inoculate your kids against illnesses like measles, you can help “immunize” them against drug use by giving them the facts before they’re in a risky situation.
There is no secret to keeping your kids off drugs. It’s all public knowledge. It just requires you to act before their would-be dealers. Learn the language. Start the conversation. And seek out a good rehab as a fall back position. Knowledge is power. And it’s yours for the taking.
About the Author
Sara Stringer is freelance writer who enjoys writing about natural health alternatives. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.