Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or are already using drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and others, like prescription drugs, and how to respond in such a situation.
According to Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, the first thing you can do is be proactive. If you drink or use substances, lock it up. Or better yet, get it completely out of the house. If you have prescription medications, lock those up too. Don’t assume that just because your teen is using one substance, he’s not open to getting high in a different way.
Know the warning signs, including decline in school work or youth activities, blood shot eyes, having friends who use drugs, and more. However, here is no substitute for talking and listening to your child. If you think they are behaving oddly and you are worried about the possibility of drug use, say so. Listen carefully to what they have to say. Communication is the key with your children
When you suspect your teen is using drugs, contact TurnAround, a free confidential service provided to parents and guardians who are trying to determine if their child is involved in drugs. 410-819-5600
If you’ve just discovered that your child is drinking or using drugs, the first thing you need to do is sit down, relax, and take time to breathe. Discuss what you have found and decide together what to do, which should include your child immediately disposing of the drug. One way you can take immediate action is by using the new Talbot County Drug Drop Box for the collection and disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as vitamins and pet medicines. This secured box is located in the lobby of the Talbot County Public Safety Center at 115 West Dover Street in Easton and is available daily from 5:00am until 9:00pm for residents to dispose of unwanted, unused or outdated medications.
Parents often wonder where to draw the line with privacy when a teen may be using substances. Remember, this is your home. Privacy is a privilege. If you suspect your teen is using substances, privacy goes out the window. It’s your home, and your right and responsibility to make sure illegal substances are not in your house, because you will be held responsible.
The difference between caring and caretaking comes down to clear, consistent boundaries.
For additional information on what parents can do to help their children avoid the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.