My thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with the doubt, or the reality, about your loved oneís drug use. You are doing the right thing to search out information and to become involved because of your love and concern. Experts agree that close parental involvement is key to working through the heartbreak in order to save a child on drugs.
If you know your child is using, there are resources here you should read. But it is critical that you also seek professional help NOW! Seek out a drug counselor and start an aggressive program to confront your childís problem before itís too late!
If youíre not sure whether your child is using, donít be ashamed, because itís often hard to tell, particularly with designer drugs. I call these ďsneaky drugsĒ because itís so much easier for kids to mask their use than it is with alcohol, pot, speed and other drugs. To learn more about the signs your loved one might be using these drugs, click here.
Educating yourself about drugs is step one. This site offers resources here , and links to other informational sites. The Parent Edition of True Stories of Ecstasy & Ketamine is loaded with information parents need to know.
The Drug Talk
If you suspect or know your child is using, and just as important, if you want to protect your child from using, you need to have a serious talk about drugs. If youíve already had this talk, think about doing it again.
The Voice of the Victims films are designed specifically to help parents face their own doubts and fears, and begin a strong and ongoing dialog with their kids about drugs.
Hereís my plan for having a successful drug talk. Parents all over the country have emailed me to tell me it worked.
First, watch the Parents Edition of True Stories of Ecstasy & Ketamine without your child present. It is specifically designed to answer your questions, encourage and embolden you, and prepare you to sit down with your child. Even if you suspect child is using drugs other than designer drugs, you should find the information helpful.
Then, watch the Young Adult Edition with your child. The stories of Sara, Erin, Cathy and Steven are designed to grab their attention and flood them with emotions, so they open up and are more receptive to the information in the chapters that follow. A lot of kids want to watch the whole movie all the way through; others do better if the viewing is broken into two or more sessions.
Questions to Get the Talk Started
After the viewing, or viewings, stay with your child and start a conversation with some simple, open questions like,
∑ Isnít it scary to think that the pills can vary so much from one batch to another, or the reaction can be so different, like Cathyís was?
∑ [For girls] Isnít it frightening that Garrett was able to do that to Sara?
∑ [For boys] Wasnít it horrible, what Garrett did to Sara?
∑ What do you think of drug dealers, now that you know that they sometimes substitute even more dangerous drugs, like PMA, just to make money?
Then push the conversation towards their activities. Itís sometimes easier to first talk about ďfriendsĒ who do drugs, then narrow it down to their feelings about using, or their using. Your goal is to make them realize thereís risk to them, and more important (because kids tend to feel immune from danger), that their behavior can have devastating consequences on you and your family.
In the end, you want new rules and new commitments. Let them know you need to check their rooms, do drug screens, and set guidelines for their activities, and be firm. If they have friends you feel in your heart are a bad influence, force the termination of those relationships.
And most important, keep anger out of it. Pray, meditate, take a break Ė whatever you need to do to keep your urgency, love and concern from being expressed as anger.
When Nothing Works
Some kids get it, some kids donít. So be honest, and if your concerns remain even after the drug talk, donít hesitate. Get professional help. The Blue Pages of your local phone book have listings of social services, and the Yellow Pages have pertinent listings under "addiction" and "psychologists." Your pastor or priest can help. And a Google search will turn up many resources on the Web.
And please, remember to take care of yourself, because this is a hard thing youíre going through. You must build a network of trusted people you can talk to, and you must continue to have faith that situations, no matter how dark they may seem, can and usually do turn around.