What? No, not my kids! You mean my kids are using drugs? These are not isolated questions or reactions among parents today. Kids using drugs is also not unique and isolated among today’s teenagers. What was once abnormal behavior has now become the new normal for many kids. It’s not just the teens with marijuana t-shirts who meet underneath the bleachers at lunch. Athletes, musicians, scholars and the good kids you never thought would abuse drugs or alcohol are, in fact, are doing just that. It’s a new generation of “Good kids” engaging in dangerous activities. And if you think, my son or daughter would never get involved in that sort of risky behavior, think again.
Some kids experiment because they are seeking relief from anxiety or emotional pain. In essence they are self-medicating or using drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress they are feeling. Sadly, other kids experiment with drugs to tempt their fate. Teens with serious emotional and psychological problems turn to dangerous concoctions or massive doses of drugs as a form of “Russian Roulette.” They reason, “If I die, then so be it.”
If you’ve discovered your teen abusing drugs, take some time to figure out why. Is it to connect? If so, you can help by providing your teen with meaningful connections and relationships outside of the drug culture. Is it because they are dealing with tough issues? That’s the time to talk to a counselor, pastor, or youth minister to help your child work through the problems causing them pain. Is it because using drugs helps your child feel normal? If that’s the case, talk to trained counselors or therapists like myself about constructive ways your teen can find hope and a sense of stability in their lives.
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