Educating your children about the dangers of drugs and drug addiction is as important as teaching them their basic letters, colors, and shapes.
Start at an early age. One mistake many parents make is that when their children are very young and have to take medicine, they will say it tastes good, like candy. Never compare medication to candy or something that tastes good. While most children’s medication over-the-counter and prescriptions are flavored but do not make the taste a priority.
Tips for educating children about drugs
Talking to your children about substance abuse and addiction can be scary but starting young and allowing the conversation to evolve is the best way to help your child.
Here are a few tips to help you educate your children about drugs.
- Start early but keep it age-appropriate, as the example above about over-the-counter and prescription medications for sickness.
- Be honest and the lines of communication open. Let the discussion progress with their age and draw connections to things they can understand.
- Be clear that addiction is a disease and has other health consequences.
- Do not use scare tactics, instead provide reassurance.
- Explain behavior changes that happen with addiction.
- Use appropriate tools – we will discuss some good tools in just a moment.
The object is to educate about the disease without scaring the children. Yes, drug abuse and addiction can have very dire results, but you do not want to scare them, so they refuse to take medication they may need.
Great tools for addiction education
Here are a few very excellent tools to help educate your children about drug abuse and addiction.
- The National Institute of Drug Abuse has some excellent sections geared towards teens, teachers, and parents that are informative and engaging.
- Heads Up provide fun interactive activities and reading to help educate children.
- Mind Matters contains excellent teaching aids, 11 booklets with lessons to guide discussions in the classroom about drug abuse and addiction.
- Kahoot is a bright and vibrant online resource that covers drugs, prescriptions, and vapes.
The tools on the sites listed above will help you teach your children about drug abuse and addiction. There are plenty of other sites that provide tools and guidance to help you and your children’s teachers educate them on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.
What if your child is addicted already
If you have a child who is already battling addiction, talk to them about going to a recovery center to get sober. However, you cannot force rehab on them. This approach does not work and only makes it harder for them to achieve recovery.
In Orange County, California, 449 Recovery treats teen addicts. We offer various therapies and include family therapy one weekend of the month. As a result, your child can receive addiction therapy in a clean, safe environment where we teach each patient the tools they need to succeed.
Contact us today at 855.435.7449 to discuss the therapies we use and the tools we teach to reduce the risk of relapse.