This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse. All opinions are 100% mine.
Raising kids in today’s world is so hard. We cannot take anything for granted and I constantly feel like I have to remind myself not to be naive.
Here is the deal. As a parent who has never struggled with drugs in my life, I am guilty of minimizing the fact that our family could ever been in danger of a child having a drug or alcohol problem.
We hardly ever have wine or any sort of alcohol in our house. If I do, it’s because I am using it for cooking.
I did not try drugs as a teen. I never once thought in high school or during my teen years that drugs would fix my problems or allow me to escape from something. As a child and teenager, I watched many people in my family, and around me, allow drugs and substances to control their life. I knew drugs were never something I wanted anything to do with. I have never hidden this from the kids and have always been open about the dysfunction this created in our family when I was growing up. I thank God that I never went down that path.
Yet, I still find myself minimizing the need to harp on it with our older kids.
We don’t smoke cigarettes, but some people in our extended family do. My kids see it and are very vocal about it being bad for everyone’s health.
We are not a family who frequents the doctor or takes medicine on a regular basis.
We homeschool and our kids are not around influences that make drinking or drugs sound fun or cool.
I guess what I am saying is I just don’t feel like my family is at risk.
And then one of our kids, out of nowhere, asks a question about drugs that makes me realize this is a topic we HAVE to talk about. No matter how we live our lives, children are going to have questions.
This infographic really puts a lot into perspective for me. After interviewing almost 44k teens I am a bit shocked that almost 6% of 12th graders are using marijuana daily. I am also surprised that 71% of high schools do not find regular marijuana use as harmful.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® (also known as NDAFW), is an annual event that launched in 2010. It is a week-long observation that unites teens and science experts to debunk the myths about addiction and drugs.
This year the observance will be held from January 22nd through the 28th. It is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Since 2010 they have held community based events called SHATTER THE MYTHS® in all 50 states and even some international sites.
The good news is, there are things we can do as parents that can derail your child from even initiating an interest in drugs. Here is a quick family checklist you will want to read. The tips are very informative and hopefully things you are already doing things such as: Are you able to remain calm when talking to your teen about relationship issues? Are you able to calmly set limits or discipline when your teen is disrespectful?
Here are some great drug and alcohol facts you might find helpful.
There is a National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge that you can take and use as a discussion tool with your teen. I encourage you to take the test yourself. My husband and I did, and then after about the third question, we pulled our teen in because some of the terms and questions are just not things we are informed on at all. Some of the things he knew about. There are a couple of questions on the quiz about Ecstasy. I had no idea it was such a popular and used drug. I had heard of it about ten years ago. I was shocked it was a drug teens were still using. Our sixteen year old confirmed that people talk about it on Instagram and Snapchat pretty often.
Here are our results from the test. We scored a 33%. I mean, who knew that Ecstasy is now called Molly? Here is a Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know fact sheet you might find helpful. Sadly, I feel like marijuana use is very downplayed by some parents.
What are you doing, as a parent, to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol? Is a National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® event one you would attend as a family? You can download the Drugs: Shatter the Myths booklet here. Do you know what to do if your teen has a problem with drugs?