Talk to your teens about drugs – especially over the holidays!

Are your teens or young adults home for holiday break?   

With the stress of school or campus life behind them for a few weeks, this can be a great time for you to talk to them about substance misuse

Drug use, overdose deaths, etc., are serious and scary topics. But using scare tactics during your discussion aren’t likely to be effective. 

So, where do you start? A few years ago, Fran Harding, the former Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), gave us a few tips on how you can start the discussion: 

Tip 1:  Reference the News 

“Bring up news stories they may have heard about as a way to broach this topic in a way that resonates with them and can open up a discussion about the health and safety issues around the use of opioids,” Fran wrote. 

Tip 2:  Let Them Know Substance Misuse Can Escalate 

Here’s a fact: A large percentage of heroin use follows misuse of prescription drugs. 

So, let your teen or young adult know that “experimenting” or “occasionally” misusing substances can potentially lead to other drugs or lifetime addiction. 

Tip 3: Talk Consequences 

College is a time of fun, friendship, and growth. In fact, a lot of people consider college years the best time of their lives.  

“Let your young adults know that you want them to have a long, happy, and successful life, and that using heroin or misusing prescription opioids could permanently derail their dreams and plans for the future,” Fran wrote. 

Tip 4: Talk to Other Parents and Professionals 

If you’re having a hard time having this discussion, know that you’re not alone and you can reach out to the community for help. 

“Talk to others who can play a role in prevention,” Fran wrote. 

“For instance, speak with other parents, or advocate for prevention efforts at your young adult’s school or university. College campuses strive to create health supporting environments in order to support student success.” 

Additionally, your local medical professionals may be able to shed light on substance misuse. 

“On the home front, you can ask your family physician or dentist to discuss the dangers of opioids during your young adult’s next physical exam or doctor’s appointment.” 

These conversations, while not always easy, are important step to building dialogue around substance misuse.

A word to the wise: In recovery, look for a balanced spiritual recovery that eliminates the clinical aspect. Addiction is a spiritual issue that demands spiritual treatment. Look for a Bible based recovery that is non-denominational. The clinical programs will detox and continue recovery with other addictive drugs that can also cause many problems – including overdose and death. The medical field does NOT have all the answers. Their basis for addiction treatment is the THEORY of disease. Addiction has been proven to NOT be a disease; however, the field of addiction brings in the big bucks, so they are not willing to let go and continue to take captive those who will bite the lie of a theory. Don’t let fear govern your recovery. As an add on here, there IS a FREE Bible based Virtual Recovery Center that is online and compassionate. They care SO MUCH that their program and 24/7/365 support is 100% FREE!

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour…

1 Peter 5:8