Sunday, March 13, 2005

Drug Expert Says Talk to Your Kids

Judy Shepps Battle, a drug counsellor, wrote a wonderful opinion column on methamphetamine, and the importance of parents to talk to their kids about drugs. Thanks to the Philadephia Enquirer for running it!

Battle believes as I do, that kids who have parents who talk with them about the risks inherent in drug use are better protected than kids whose parents don't have "the drug talk" with them. Here's what she writes:

Dissuading kids from using a feel-good drug that enjoys adult popularity is not an easy task. It means teaching nonchemical coping mechanisms for building and sustaining self-esteem during the teen years.

Such conversations about drugs and other harmful behaviors, along with setting fair and firm boundaries regarding substance abuse, must begin long before a youth enters adolescence.

Research indicates that children who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to half as likely to use drugs than their uninformed peers.

Yet a recent survey released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America reveals that 12 percent of parents say they have never spoken to their kids about drugs.

But there is more.

Of the parents who do have discussions about drugs with their children, the survey indicated the parent doing the talking was most often the mother. Only 39 percent of fathers talked to their kids "four or more times" in the last year about drugs, compared with 48 percent of mothers.

That means well over half of the parents out there aren't talking to their kids about drugs! Why? Is it because they don't care? No, I think it's because they don't know how to start, because they feel like hypocrites since they used when they were young, or they would rather live in denial, thinking their kids don't need the talk.

That's exactly why I made True Stories of Ecstasy and Ketamine, to encourage the drug talk. You can read more about it and even watch a clip in which I explain how to approach the drug talk for the best chance of success on this page of my Web site.

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