How to Talk to Your Teen about the Dangers of Synthetic Drugs
Following are some of the helpful tips on talking to your teen child about the dangers of synthetic drugs.
Take the Time to Talk
Keeping your teenager safe from costly mistakes is often a challenge. Teenagers have a wide range of activities that they enjoy and can seem hard to catch for a few hours of serious conversation. Although it might seem challenging, it is important to take time out of your schedule and talk to your teen about synthetic drugs. By taking the time to discuss the dangers of the drugs, you are reducing the risk that your child might try experimenting with drugs that are very dangerous.
Learn about Synthetic Drugs
Before you can discuss the topic and dangers of the drugs, you need to understand what they are and the risks involved. Synthetic drugs are man-made substances that have a wide range of names and different effects on the body.
Research the different drugs and find out the signs of substance abuse. For example, find out about bath salts, synthetic marijuana and spice. Read about the different substances and learn the specific dangers of each drug. The exact effects will vary, but you need a solid understanding of the possible dangers to discuss the topic with your teen.
Ask Your Teen for His or Her Impressions
Avoid lectures or long discussions about the dangers of drugs. Although you want to impart that knowledge to your teen, it is better to start the conversation by asking questions and finding out what your teen already knows from media, friends or school lessons.
Learn about the topic from your teen’s point of view. Keep the conversation as light as possible before you start talking about dangers from the drugs. By getting your teen to answer questions and think about the topic, you are able to reduce the risk that your teen will stop listening or will require another lecture in the future.
Observe the way your teen reacts to questions, including the non-verbal communication. If you notice odd behavior or elusive responses, then you might need to think about alternative solutions or getting professional help.
Bring Up the Consequences
When you are talking to a teen, scare tactics are an ineffective way to handle the topic of drug abuse. Instead, focus on consequences that your teen cares about the most. For example, tell your teen that he or she will lose interest in playing a favorite sport or might not be able to continue performing in an upcoming play.
Immediate consequences are more effective as a deterrent to substance abuse than the long-term physical consequences. Teenagers can overlook long-term health effects by assuming that it is not likely to happen to them. By focusing on the real downsides of the drugs that will occur immediately, your teen might be more receptive to the further consequences to health and well-being. Talk about the physical dangers after discussing the loss of hobbies and friends.
Discuss Media Exposure
Drug abuse is often depicted in music, movies and other media outlets as a glamorous activity. Ask your teen about his or her feelings when synthetic drug abuse comes up in a media source. Talk about peer pressure or the reactions of friends. Bringing it out into the open will prevent subconscious messages from causing temptation.
Talk about Personal Experiences
If you used or abused drugs in the past, then it might be necessary to talk about your personal experiences with substance abuse and recovery. Although it is hard to admit your faults to your children, it can be a powerful way to deterring your teen from making the same mistakes or taking the same missteps in life. Focus on the downsides of your experiences and discuss the journey to a drug-free lifestyle. If you did not take drugs personally, then you can use other examples in the family, among your childhood friends or similar close relations.
Talking about synthetic drugs is challenging, but it is also necessary. Removing the temptation from your teen by explaining all of the consequences, focusing on experiences and showing that addiction can happen to anyone is possible. It just takes a little time and the right approach to get the attention of a teenager.
About the author
Desmond White is a writer that specializes in addiction treatment and his true passion is helping people find treatment for addiction. He is currently promoting Best Drug Rehabilitation, click here to learn more about their facility and holistic treatment programs.