I was recently asked if I recommended a parent take their child to see the pain people on drugs face. The caller wanted to bring his nephew to a rehab or detox to talk to the patients recovering from drug abuse. Recently the US Department of Education released a study on the effects of mandatory drug testing for students. The study indicates that testing works in the short term however, the long-term prognosis is not good. When polled one out of three kids admitted they would use drugs within the next 12 months.
It is reported that one in five school aged children use prescription drugs illegally. Kids are raiding their parents and neighbor’s medicine cabinets at alarming rates. SAMHSA reports that treatment for prescription drug abuse increased between 1998 and 2008 from 2.2 percent to 9.8 percent. The bad news is that more and more people are being effected by this tragedy for instance in 2009 in Southwest Florida 235 people died of overdoses of prescription medication as opposed to 25 deaths by other drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The good news is that people are seeking treatment at alarming rates.
While the epidemic is beyond serious what do we suggest? When one in five kids are abusing drugs how do I know if my kid is involved? How do I prevent my kid from heading down this path? The answers lie in the answer to the fellow that wanted to show his nephew the other side of the coin, the pain! NO, DO NOT DO IT! We want to be positive role models for our children. We want our children focusing on what is good and what is right. We want them looking for the good and not the bad. What we focus on we will get.
Here are two examples that seemed like great ideas. The “DARE” program brought police officers into the elementary schools to discuss the dangers of drugs. “Scared Straight” a New Jersey program that took teens to prison to meet with hardened criminals to create a healthy fear in the teen. Both ideas were excellent ideas however they did not work as effectively as planned. Why? They went against the laws of the universe, “what we focus on we become”. If we focus on the negative we get the negative!
We want to be role models for our children. We want to show them what is good in life. We want to eat dinner with them every day. We want to emulate success for them. Instead of taking them to jail take them to a college campus, a college football game, and point out the good and acceptable there. Yes there are problems on campus but focus on the good.
If you suspect that your child is using you are probably right. Asking why is irrelevant, it is time for action. Feel free to give us a call and we will answer any question you may have. 866-501-3366
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