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3 Different Moms Share Similar Drug-Related Fears
You’ve undoubtedly noticed some changes as your child has grown into an adolescent. And even though you can remember what it was like to be that age, you also recognize that things have changed since you grew up. This is especially true of the drug culture.
Moms Speaking Out
Today, kids are faced with more temptation than ever. Gone are the days when parents only had to worry about kids experimenting with alcohol and marijuana; modern drug threats include illicit substances like heroin and cocaine, prescription painkillers and a wealth of synthetic drugs. Throw in the menacing online drug market and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Despite unique circumstances or situations, moms share a core group of concerns when it comes to protecting their kids from drugs. To better understand those fears – and highlight their similarities – we asked three very different mothers the following question:
What worries you most about your child’s potential drug and alcohol exposure?
Mom #1 Donna L.
Kelly is an only child and she’s painfully shy in crowds. At home, she’s a vibrant and confident child; at school functions and large gatherings, she just shies away and loses her self-esteem.
Since Kelly’s so introverted, I’m scared that she might want to try drugs or alcohol as a way to “make friends” or to fit in with the crowd. I don’t want her to think that she needs to start abusing drugs in order to be accepted by her peers.
Mom #2 Lauren B.
I’m a single mother, which means I have to work twice as hard to give my son Kevin the kind of life he deserves.
The trade-off of all that working is that I’m not home enough, which leaves him alone a great deal of the time. He stays glued to the Internet or playing video games, so I worry about him, you know?
I heard him talking on the phone a couple weeks ago and he was saying a friend had gotten high off smoking incense!? I had to Google it to find out that he was really talking about those weird packages of fake marijuana. You know, they sell that stuff at a gas stations; all he’d have to do is walk two blocks from our house and buy some!
And Kevin’s constantly telling me how bored he is, so I worry he’ll turn to drugs or alcohol if his friends make it sound like it would be fun. I’m just not home as much as I need to be…or should be.
Mom #3 Carmen E.
It’s hard for me to answer this question.
My husband and I are in the middle of an ugly divorce and our son Will is paying a heavy price for the breakdown of our marriage. His father now lives 45-minutes away, so Will feels abandoned and it’s really taking a toll on him. He turned 15 last month and this divorce is just…well, he’s angry and he’s in pain.
My fear for Will is that he will turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to avoid feeling sad or angry. He’s already got two strikes against him – Will’s father is an alcoholic and my mother is a recovering alcoholic. It’s a disease that runs in both sides of the family and I want to protect him from ever feeling like there’s safety at the bottom of a liquor bottle. It’s heartbreaking.
What Can Parents Do?
Whether you’re a mom or dad, you play a leading role in your child’s outlook on drugs. When it’s all said and done, it boils down to having drug-related conversations with your children – often and honestly.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Don’t be afraid to talk about drugs
- Establish an open line of communication
- Be a good role model and practice what you preach
- Know the early signs and symptoms of drug use
- Explain the risks associated with taking drugs/drinking alcohol
- Be prepared to intervene if necessary
Additional Reading: 7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehab Facility