Saturday 1 September 2012

Drug And Alcohol Addiction: What Every Parent Should Do

We always hear about a celebrity passing or wasting away due to one form of addiction or the other. My kids and I were particularly saddened about the death of this celebrity. She was young and hugely talented! She was a true legend as we get to enjoy her songs anytime it’s played. We also loved most of her chart buster movies that are timeless.

What a waste!  What an untimely death!

I began to wonder…how many people are dying this moment because of drug and alcohol addiction? How many people are struggling with this problem? How many people would still go this way?

With these thoughts, I decided to share this with you. The need to start talking, if we are not already doing so The need to talk more if we are not talking enough. The need to start talking to our children about this, because they say “charity begins at home”.

We have children, cousins, nieces, nephews and they see and hear about these celebrities and their struggles. They equally hear about their deaths caused by these drugs and alcohol addictions.

We need to start discussing addictions with them. Our children should be informed and know the meaning, causes, dangers and effects of drugs and alcohol use. They should know why these substances should be avoided!

So, what is addiction? 

Simply put, addiction is the condition of taking harmful drugs and being unable to stop taking them while an addict is a person who takes harmful drugs and cannot stop taking them.

In discussing with our children, they should know that these drugs are not meant to be played with! They are not to be ‘experimented’ with. They should know they don’t have to ‘belong’ to any group for them to be complete of fulfilled. We should let them know and understand the need to be comfortable in their skin. Check out my previous post on this.

We should tell them they are beautifully and wonderfully made. The reason is simply because some kids suffer from body insecurity. They don’t like their body. They think they are not good enough, beautiful enough or sporty enough.

As parents or guardians, let’s reassure them and make them realize they can’t be the “best” in every aspect of life. They are areas of strength and equally areas of weakness. And that its perfectly fine and ‘normal’.

Watch out if your children are bullied in school or anywhere else. This can make them seek comfort in drugs or alcohol. Bully should be discouraged and reported in  the school. At home, it should also be discouraged. Every child is different and so no one has the right to demean or make fun of the other.

Know their friends. Encourage your children to bring their friends home. This way, you get to meet them, interact with them briefly and study their behavior. As parents, you have instincts…trust your instincts when they speak.

Any of their friends you don’t approve of, dig in and investigate about that person. Encourage discussion and ask questions about that friend. Talk to your child about that friend and make your decision.

Both of you may not be the best of friends after that decision, but trust me, that is why we are the PARENTS. You give the rules and they follow. In the long run, it’s for their good.

We should always encourage discussion around drugs and alcohol. Let them speak and you LISTEN. We should correct any wrong impression or answers while the discussion is on.

As parents, we should show good examples. We should practice what we preach. We can’t tell them to stay away from drugs and alcohol when we use them. It won’t work.

Watch out and pay close attention to your kids and act fast if you do notice any or most of these symptoms; aggression, physical changes, alcohol or drug smell, drunkenness, mood swings, risky behavior, resentful attitudes, weight gain/loss or nervous twitches and ticks.

Note all these maybe NOT be related to drugs or alcohol addictions. You should know your children, if you notice a great change in behavior with some of the above symptoms then, you should act fast!

If this is helpful, why don’t you tell somebody about this blog.

Thanks for your time.

" I lift up my eyes to the hills..where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth"-Ps. 121:1-2

"There are no secret to success. It  is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure"-Collin Powell

                                                                      Linda Aliogo 

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