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Drugs, Alcohol and Your Kids

ID-100209448According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more teens are abusing drugs than ever before. In fact, here are some statistics that will frighten you more than any ghoul or goblin:

  • One in five high school seniors report consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row.
  • One in 10 say they have consumed 10 or more drinks in a row.
  • More than one in 20 report having consumed 15 or more drinks in a row.
  • After alcohol, prescription drugs, such as pain relievers from the family medicine cabinet, are more commonly used than marijuana by those ages 12 to 18.
  • About 64 percent of teens who have abused pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives.
  • More teens die from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine combined.
  • 1 in 9 high school seniors has tried Spice/K2 (synthetic marijuana), which is usually potpourri laced with hazardous chemicals that can cause seizures or sudden death.

Binge drinking, prescription drug abuse and worse. It’s enough to send a parent into a permanent state of panic.

Why is This Happening?

Some teenagers regularly use drugs or alcohol to compensate for anxiety, depression or a lack of positive social skills. The combination of the typical teenager’s curiosity, risk-taking behavior and social pressure make it very difficult for them to say no.

What Can You Do?

The good news is, you can do something about it. Research shows that when it comes to alcohol and drugs, positive influences early in life help to develop healthy attitudes and behavior towards drinking.

Help your kids avoid being a statistic by:

  • Setting a good example: First and foremost, drink responsibly. Your kids will learn how to treat alcohol from you. Don’t glorify alcohol and intoxication, don’t drink to get drunk, don’t drink and drive and practice moderation.
  • Educate and communicate: Talk to your children about alcohol and drugs. Explain the importance of drinking moderately and why only adults should consume alcohol. Discuss why only the person a drug is prescribed to should use it. And don’t be afraid to answer their questions.
  • Get them involved: Prevention research over the past two decades has shown that by encouraging their kids to get involved in the community – through school, church and sports – parents can change their kids’ ability to turn down drugs and alcohol. The idea is to focus on the positive potential of kids, not on the negative potential of using drugs.

At Horizon Health Services, we’ve helped countless families deal with the difficulty and stress of substance abuse ¬and we’re just as dedicated to helping prevent it. Call us any time at 716.831.1800 for more information or to schedule an initial appointment if you feel you or a loved one could use our support.

And if you are a worried parent, you can always use our confidential and free online consultation program to speak with a counselor.