Drug addiction is a phenomenon that often begins early in life. Parents arguably play the most important role in its prevention, as they are the primary caretakers, guardians and teachers of their children. Unfortunately, too many parents have a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to drug abuse prevention and education, which can have disastrous consequences once their children become older.
Parents Must Form Strong Bonds With Their Children
A child who develops a strong bond with their parents is unlikely to defy them. The decision on the part of many children to use drugs is an act of rebellion, a way of getting back at their parents for various slights. Perhaps they are angry because their parents divorced, or because a parent abused them or because one or both parents didn’t spend enough time with them. It has been said that if a man doesn’t raise his son or daughter, the streets will, and the lessons they’ll learn on the streets are harsh and without mercy.
The first step parents can take to prevent their children from abusing drugs is to spend time with them and forge an unshakable bond. Too many parents think it is enough to provide their children with clothes, shelter, and food; it isn’t. Children need attention, support and guidance, and money alone is no substitute for these things. This is why many children whose parents are rich and or famous turn to drugs despite their wealth because they lack support and guidance. A child whose parents abandon them completely has the highest chance of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs.
The Teenage Years Are The Most Dangerous
The teenage years are a time when a child is making the transition into adulthood, and it is during this period where they are at greatest risk of abusing drugs. Many teenagers want to fit in with their peers, and may engage in risky activities to do so. Adolescents will experience dramatic changes in their bodies and minds which will define and differentiate them from their parents. Teenagers are susceptible to rebellion and defiance during this period in their lives as they are coming into their own, and if their parents didn’t build strong bonds with them before they reached puberty it will may difficult to do so.
Teenagers are heavily influenced by popular culture. In Western societies drugs are prohibited by law and yet are popularized in rock and rap music, not to mention films and even video games. This combined with the huge influx of drugs from Central and South America has made drug usage in the West a serious problem whereas many Eastern societies have a zero tolerance policy where the consequences of using or selling drugs is death.
Parents Must Discipline Their Children
Parents must make it clear to their children that if they choose to use drugs there will be serious, unpleasant consequences for doing so. Parents should cut off all support for their children if they choose to abuse drugs and this includes refusing to pay for any medical or legal costs which result from usage. Parents that continue to support their children despite their drug usage will make the problem worse, as they are conveying to their children that the practice is okay.
If you need to help your child quit drugs, reach out to our admission team and let us prove to you how we can join you in the journey of recovery for your child.