The prevalence of drugs in schools hasn’t changed much over the last 50 years. There is arguably not even one high school in America with a student enrollment of over 500 that doesn’t have at least a few kids taking drugs throughout the school year. It’s no surprise and it really shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody. But it should give many of us parents a serious wake up call!
In the 1960’s, drug use was quickly becoming part of popular culture and the use of marijuana was starting to pick up steam in schools in the United States. Fast forward to today, and students are now being exposed to and taking more drugs than ever as a whole.
Statistics vary but it is safe to say now in the U.S., roughly 35% of high school seniors will have tried at least one illicit drug and approximately 5-6% will be regular or semi-regular pot smokers.
How does this happen?
The truth is; you can be the best parent in the world, instilling the greatest of morals and values in your children and sometimes that’s not enough to keep kids away from drugs. They are inevitably going to make their own choices and you can’t be at their side 24/7.
One thing you can do that’s proven to be extremely effective in preventing your children from doing drugs is to talk about the subject with them, openly. Studies show children who talk to their parents about the dangers of drugs are over 50% less likely to experiment with illicit drugs. So, for those of you who think it’s taboo to talk about drugs at home you should know you may be doing much more harm than good for your child.
Prepare your Kids For Peer Pressure
They need to know the truth so it doesn’t catch them by surprise and subject them to possibly making a bad decision. If they are prepared to face difficult situations involving peer pressure, they will stand a much better chance to make good decisions and avoid getting themselves in a hole.
Many parents are afraid if they don’t give their adolescents enough space, their relationships with their kids will suffer. Some of these parents are from the school of thought that kids should make their own mistakes and learn from them. This is true for many things in life but not when it comes to drugs!
As a parent, you should always know where your kid is and who he or she hangs out with. You can do this easily and without intruding in their lives by communicating with them and questioning them occasionally if the situation calls for it. Don’t simply assume everything’s always alright because sometimes, it just isn’t. There are thousands of parents in the world right now who don’t even have a clue that their child is on the verge of substance abuse or already abusing drugs whether it’s cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription pills (not prescribed to them), or any other illicit substance.
You can tilt your children’s odds in their favor by teaching them about dangers of drugs! Just don’t make it sound like you’re preaching and do your best to ‘keep it real’.