Talking to Your Tweens and Teens about Drug Use

Talking to Your Tweens and Teens about Drug Use

Talking to Your Tweens and Teens about Drug UseDid you know that over the counter drugs and marijuana are popular drug choices for teenagers to experiment with because it is easy to get? Your child’s friends often pressure your child to experiment with drugs so if you haven’t had a discussion with your teenager now would be a great time. Especially with all of the publicity and news broadcasts about making marijuana legal in some states for medical patients who need it. Your teenager might not realize that even where states have made it legal for some people to have marijuana legal it is still illegal for people to posse it if they don’t have a medical necessity for it.

According to the “Marijuana and Teens” from American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, teenage marijuana usage is at an all-time high. Kids as young as 8th grade have experimented with marijuana. Yikes, it is scary to know that kids that young are experimenting with drugs. Parents can attempt to prevent their kids from experimenting with drugs by keeping an open relationship with their kids and talking about difficult subjects such drug use, depression, suicide, sex, and more.

Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. If your teen is using drugs, please seek help from a trained professional. 

Talking to Your Child About Over the Counter and Marijuana Drug Use

If you don’t want your child to abuse over the counter drugs or abuse marijuana, you need to have a discussion with them as soon as possible to talk to them about the consequences. Most children don’t realize that these drugs could be dangerous even in small quantities simply because you have no idea if it has been laced or how your body is going to react to the chemicals in the drugs. It is best to talk to your child while they are in elementary or moving to middle school. As you are talking to your child, it is best to be open and honest with your child? Instead, ask them open ended questions to get them to open up and talk to you?

Try asking your teen these questions:

  • Have you heard of kids at your school talking about using over the counter drugs or marijuana? If so, get them to explain what they have heard.
  • Ask them if they know what the known side effects are for each particular drug that you want to discuss with your child?
  • You can offer them known facts about the side effects and consequences for using each drug. Try to find reputable stats for your child so that they can see straight facts and statics.
  • Try not to glamorize its use so that your child knows that it isn’t good to be addicted to drugs.
  • Explain that drug use can lead to them getting caught in the wrong crowded, they could go to jail for possession, lead to them to dropping out of school or job loss in the future, ect.

Confronting Your Teenager About Their Suspected Drug Use

If you suspect that your teenager is using drugs, I highly suggest that you talk to a professional before you confront your child. It is best to avoid confronting your child when you are mad, upset, or haven’t digested the information that you have learned. Instead, gather the evidence and continue to watch their behaviors. Once you decide to confront your child, it is best to take them to a safe place to talk. I know that sometimes it isn’t best to confront them at home where other siblings or people can interfere or distract the conversation. Also, start the conversation by letting them know that you love them. Most teenagers will often deny that they are using drugs during the first conversation, keep talking to them and they will eventually open up and confess.

Find Out How Serious Your Child’s Addiction Is to the Drug of Their Choice

After you get a confession from your teenager, you need to find out how serious their addiction is so that you can get the proper treatment. Depending on the severity of the drug use, you might need the help of a doctor or rehab center. Don’t be afraid to seek outside help from a professional. Getting help doesn’t make you or your family look bad, it shows the opposite that you care for the health and well being of your children. Parents don’t beat yourself up over your teen’s drug use more thank likely their choice to use doesn’t have anything to do with you especially if they are depressed , ADHD, or have low self esteem.

Here is an InfoGraphic to Help you with Marijuana Stats

Courtesy of: HelpYourTeenNow-Marijuana use and teens

Do you have any additional tips to give parents who might be facing a teenager who is using drugs?

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16 responses to “Talking to Your Tweens and Teens about Drug Use”

  1. Eliz Frank Avatar

    I think it’s a conversation that should be ongoing from the time kids enter elementary school and throughout. By the teen years, kids who are susceptible to drug use would have already been exposed to them.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Eliz you are correct, thank you for adding this useful information.

  2. Harleena Singh Avatar

    HI Christy,

    I am glad you wrote about this topic, something I’d written about too, though some time back because it is SO essential for parents and for teens to know about it all. Sometimes even when they might not want it, teens are often sucked into it by their friends, and I know of a few of such cases our end too. However, I am glad that in our country, it’s not taken up in a big way as compared to the US, where the stats are pretty amazing.

    Thanks for sharing and creating more awareness about this important topic. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Christy Avatar

      Yes, the peer pressure is terrible with the younger generation. We learned this lesson last year when my kids thought it would be fun to do the salt and ice challenge (we talked with the kids about not doing what their friends are doing just because it looks cool). Hopefully, they learned their lesson.

  3. Pam Rote Avatar

    I haven’t had this talk yet–you’ve shared some great ips on how to get the conversation started!!

    1. Christy Avatar

      Your welcome, I hope that the conversation goes well Pam. 🙂

  4. Jennifer Hiles Avatar
    Jennifer Hiles

    Wow, 8th grade? I was just getting crushes on boys and playing with make-up. Drugs were not something that was either an option or a consideration for me! I guess times have changed. What kind of over the counter drugs are kids using? I will have to come up with a conversation to have. My step daughter is 12 so I should probably talk to her asap.

    1. Christy Avatar

      From what I have read, kids are using cough syrup and anything in the medicine cabinet that they can find to get a high or buzz off of. I wrote an article for about a month ago and are a great resource in addition to this article.

  5. Yvonne I. Wilson Avatar

    Hi Christy,

    Happy to connect with you and glad to see that you are addressing another topic that can be a parent worse nightmare. I think peer pressure do play a huge role in this. But having the conversation with your child at a young age and pointing out the consequences can have an even greater impact on the child not to go down that path.

    Great tips you have shared on how to get the conversation started.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Yvonne thank you for visiting. I wanted to share some conversation starters and I hope that my readers find them helpful. 😉

  6. Emmanuel Avatar

    I am a teenager myself and I always make sure I talk to my friends with respect drug usage. Our favourite character when growing was this ‘Home Alone’ movie guy but just look at how drugs had turned him into.
    This is a lovely piece and worth sharing.

    1. Christy Avatar

      He is a great example of a drug user even though he was an actor. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope that my tips help you continue to talk to your friends.

  7. Michele Avatar

    Now that Marijuana is partially legalized in some places it is even more important to talk to your kids about drug use! Although Marijuana does have some very helpful medicinal uses it should not be used for recreational purposes especially since your kids might be using it when something else has been added!!

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree Michele. Kids might not realize that it is still illegal to buy it unless you have a medical prescription for it. Thank you for visiting.

  8. Karen Dawkins Avatar

    This is an important issue. Parents can’t stick their head in the ground and pretend their kids don’t know about drugs. Even private schools have problems!

    1. Christy Avatar

      You are correct Karen. Don’t forget homeschool students as well. They are bound to have friends outside of the home and you can’t watch your child 24/7. Instead, you have to trust that they will make the right choices.