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Did you know that drug use and drug addiction is not only a problem with illegal substances? Did you know that kids can get their hands on “designer” substances – substances that are similar to the illegal kind, but sold legally? Do you know that YOU play an important role in preventing substance abuse in your family?
If you are a parent, this is an episode you don’t want to miss.
Kim Obert, Program Manager, and Shirley Baum, Board Member of DrugfreeAZ.org joined Mom of Many Hats Radio for an important discussion on drug use in Arizona. Although the discussion is based on Arizona statistics, this discussion is for everyone across the country, as Arizona is a snapshot of what is happening across our country.
Our discussion with Kim and Shirley included the trends in the use of substances. From prescription drugs, to illicit drugs, to designer drugs, our children are at risk from the use of substances that are harmful and addictive. With the average age of first use being 13 years old, and an increase in the use and availability of substances, it is important for parents to have conversations early and often with their kids about healthy living and the dangers and risks of drug use and abuse. To have those conversations, parents and kids need to be armed with information.
Many of us know something about the commonly known substances such as marijuana, ecstasy, meth, alcohol and tobacco. Shirley and Kim shared information about “designer drugs” – substances that are often sold legally, but are used to simulate the affects of other substances. Among those are “bath salts”, “glass cleaner”, “plant food”, “spice”, and others. They provided us with information for us as parents to use if we are suspicious about something we hear or see in our child’s possession. They also shared with us the things that we can look for in behavior that may signal there is something that we should investigate – mainly, a substantial and marked change in their behavior. As parents, they suggested that we “trust our gut”.
Our conversation also included resources on how we can open up dialogue with our kids about healthy living choices and drugs. They provided 12 Steps in 2012 to build a better relationship with your child. Some highlights are:
- Be a role model to your child.
- Listen to your teens, avoid interrupting.
- Help them to discover the feeling of gratitude.
- Create scenarios and act out with your child, how they would handle a situation involving drugs.
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