Warning signs for drug and alcohol abuse in children

Think your kid
is using drugs?

Drugs and alcohol abuse, gangs & school violence, underage smoking, online dangers...

Today our children are exposed to all manner of threats to their well-being, personal safety and development.  From drug abuse, smoking, gangs and school violence to online pornography, sexual experimentation - and the list is endless.  Their peers, the media, the Internet and other outside influences challenge their resolve unrelentingly. 

Parents, do you know the warning signs?

Warning signs for drug and alcohol abuse in children

Talk to your kids about drugs, alcohol, tobacco and sex

It is increasingly difficult for many kids to "just say no" to drugs, alcohol and tobacco.  Everyone wants to fit in, and today drugs and alcohol are more readily available to kids than ever before.  Telling children and teens to just say no to drugs simply is not enough. They must be encouraged to reject drugs because it is the right thing to do, not just because you told them to say no.

After years of research, it has been proven over and over again that young people can be positively influenced about the risks and dangers of drug use long before they might start experimenting, but only if they are made aware of the dangers.

Children who don't have the facts about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are at a far greater risk of trying them.  Talking about awkward issues like drugs, alcohol, sex and even computer addiction is difficult for parents and children, but retreating from such discussions can leave children unprepared to deal with their peers - and that can be perilous. 

Help yourself and help your kids by doing the following:

  1. Get the facts.  A great start is that you have read this far - don't stop!
  2. Ask your child's school what is being taught about drugs, alcohol and tobacco so that you can reinforce these lessons at home.  Drug, alcohol and tobacco education is a part of national curriculum in science classes.
  3. Share your views with your kids and explain why you believe what you do.  Make it clear that drugs, alcohol and tobacco are simply not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
  4. Talk to other parents, especially the parents of the children your kids play with as this can create a cohesive approach

If young people are given guidance and information from people they trust (you, teachers, etc.) they will be less likely to make the wrong decisions about using these substances.  Don't be afraid to role-play with your children.  Help them develop skills to resist the peer pressures they will most certainly encounter later. 

Parents, take some time to browse around. Learn the warning signs and investigate professional sources for support and treatment.   (Please read Disclaimer)

Learn more about home and workplace tests like urine, hair,
saliva drug testing kits, HIV testing kits for HIV virus and more.

Gateway Drugs?

A gateway drug is a drug that opens the door to the use of other, harder drugs. Gateway drugs are typically inexpensive and readily available. While there is no guarantee that a youngster will make the leap from gateway drugs to far more toxic and dangerous drugs such as methamphetamines, cocaine, or heroin, research suggests that in the majority of the cases they will not. Still, who wants to roll the dice with their youngster’s health and future happiness? Most addicts began their downward spiral with the gateway drugs; very few youngsters or adults jump right into hard drugs. Keeping children free and clear of the gateway substances for as long as possible is your mission. (excerpt from "The Official Parents Guide" by Glenn Levant, President and Founding Director, D.A.R.E.)  More...

Internet Safety

Drugs & Alcohol

Gangs & Violence

Regarding pornography, our objective is not to debate the right of free speech versus those who want to restrict access to such material. We offer helpful suggestions to parents who are concerned about what their children do and view and reveal online.

Children who are using drugs exhibit different warning signs of which we need to be ever vigilant. Oftentimes we see these signs as typical adolescent behavior and don't realize that our children are using drugs. Regrettably, by then it is sometimes too late.

Kids join gangs because they are looking for attention, love, identity and status. Members dress in a particular style or color identifying their unique gang. Parents must learn to recognize the warning signs and discuss the dangers of gangs with their children.

Warning signs for drug and alcohol abuse in children

Parents - learn your kids' warning signs...

Drugs, alcohol - know the danger signsKids telegraph signals to us when they are engaged in activities in which that they shouldn't be involved. This website is focused on talking about some of those 'warning signs' and offers suggestions and practical resources to help parents help their kids to make good decisions. This site is not a substitute for professional medical help or counseling.  It is intended to serve only as a resource for parents and caregivers. (Read Disclaimer)  

Online attacks

You and your children are under attack online.  From annoying spam to clever phishing and pharming scams, threats to your finances and personal wellbeing have never been greater.  We have included some new information on how to use spam filters, phishing and pharming threats; the problem and solutions for email fraud and where to report phishing emails.  See Internet Safety...

Drug rehab treatment centers, programs and related resources Drug rehab and alcohol treatment (although still under development), here you will find a listing including detox centers, inpatient and outpatient programs for alcohol and substance addictions.

Be aware - be responsive

The hardest thing for any parent to accept is that their child may have been using drugs for months or possibly years before they became aware of it.

The explanations for this are many.  Some parents are completely unaware (or even indifferent) of behavior changes thinking "its just those teenage years hormonal mood swings", or its "how kids act these days".  Unconsciously or consciously, some parents choose to deny the warning signs because the truth could be so terrifying.  They cling to false hope that this is "just a phase" and will pass soon because few things are more scary to a parent than the thought of their child using drugs.  If you want to be sure, see these home and workplace tests - urine, hair, saliva drug testing kits, HIV testing kits for HIV virus and more.

On a good day, being a parent is challenging.  It is impossible to cover everything you want or need to know about teenage drug and alcohol use and abuse in these pages, but we hope that our information gives you a place to start.  Whether your are facing the nightmare of drug abuse or doing battle with "the terrible twos", one of the best parenting skill programs is that developed by Mac Bledsoe over 25 years of teaching, coaching and being a parent.  Parenting With Dignity® has won wide acclaim and has been featured on ABC's 20/20 program, CBN's 700 Club, PBS, The Today Show and countless other TV, radio, magazines and newspapers.  Learn why this parenting program is so popular...

Warning signs for drug and alcohol abuse in children

Parenting With Dignity encourages parents and caregivers to rethink their approach to discipline, punishment and empowerment
Parenting Program on DVD

As seen on ABC's 20/20

Parenting with Dignity® teaches parents how to instill a sense of responsible decision making in their kids. A positive approach to parenting that is simple, easily understood, applicable in any situation, and incredibly intuitive.

Our children will make all of the most important decisions in their lives - on their own. The only thing we can do as parents is teach them how to make good decisions.  Learn more...

Parenting with Dignity® Books teach parents how to instill a sense of responsible decision making in their kids.
Parenting Books

Warning signs for drug and alcohol abuse in children

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