Teens talk about trends in substance use, consequences and what Parents NEED to know….
Q. What do you see is the biggest trend in teen substance use right now?
- Hookah and alcohol. There are too many parties.
- A large trend I see is the use of vaporizers. Kids like them because they are odorless. Also, kids think they are more safe because there is no combustion… but they are actually very bad for you.
Q. Do you know anyone who has gotten in trouble for drinking or drug use? If Yes, what happened to them and how did it affect their life?
- Yes. They went to jail, lost their license and college opportunity.
- Yes. They get drug tested at school.
- Yes. They got an MIP and there were embarrassing videos of them on the internet.
- Yes. They got an MIP and many freedoms lost.
- Yes. They got an MIP which effected getting into the college they wanted.
- Yes. They were admitted to rehab and lived a sober life for a few months. This person fell back with their “user” friends and is back to more use.
- Yes. They received an MIP and might be sentenced with probation for 2 years. I don’t think they learned much though.
Q. What do Parents need to know and do about teen substance use?
- That it is growing – it IS prevalent
- Make sure a Parental unit is home for parties.
- That kids are doing them, maybe even their own kids.
- They need to know that it is on the rise and how to detect changes in their own children when they either start using or need help with an addiction.
- They need to know that they set an dexample for their children regarding substance use. If parents handle their stress in healthy ways, then their children will be more likely to handle stress in healthy ways.
Q. When do you think is the right time for Parents to talk to their kids about drinking and drug use?
- It depends on the child. I remember some kids did drugs in middle school, but some not until high school. Middle School is a great age to start the transition to the topic.
- Middle School. 8th grade, age 13-14.
- Younger; 10-11.
- Middle School, entering 6th grade.
- Every age, so that they know drugs are wrong.
Q. What do you think Parents should say to their kids about drugs and alcohol at this time?
- They should tell their kids’ that they are not good for them, and if they ever find themselves in a situation that involves them, to just leave.
- Tell them the consequences and effects of drinking and using drugs.
- Explain to them the truths about effects, legal ramifications and the importance of making your own decisions.
- Make good choices.
- Talk to them at least once a month. Talk about the effects, but try to keep an open dialogue about what they want to talk about.
- Discuss with them what they observe among their peers and how common it is.
- That there are choices they make now are crucial to their future. They should talk to them about it often.
- You should trust your child, but know the signs. Be aware when they act strange or suspicious. BUT, be open to helping them.