HOW TO TALK WITH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE
- The first point here is to talk WITH not AT your children about drugs and alcohol. They are out there and your kids are aware of them.
- Discuss what signs have led you to believe they may be using.
- Try not to sound critical or judgmental.
- Try to empathize and remind your child of your unconditional love and support for them regardless of what they’ve done.
- Be prepared to discuss your own experiences and why they may or may not have been wise choices.
- Try not to compare your child with siblings or friends.
- Be ready to listen when your child, hopefully has some questions or ideas of their own.
- In the end set firm guideline and rules about expectations. Draw out the chain of events that would occur from chronic use of the drug; apathy, depression, difficulty with continued education and employment, more powerful drugs.
- Be ready to set limits on car use, use of computer and cell phone technology and possibly issue a curfew.
- Be confident and stand behind what you say and how you say it.
- The true significance is not the words you use but rather the time you’ve taken to show your concern.
RESOURCES FOR HELP:
For suspected marijuana use, the best approach would be to contact your family physician or a mental health care provider if, after discussion with your child you still suspect use of the drug. For a complete list of Western Massachusetts Substance Use Treatment and Prevention Services, visit the Department of Public Health's
Bureau of Substance Abuse Services Directory, here.
Service Net Substance Abuse Services
Greenfield, 413-772-2935 (3)
Cleanslate Addiction Services
68 Federal Street, Greenfield, 413-774-5489
The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Hotline is staffed 7 days a week.
Their number is 1(800)-327-5050.
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