7 Things Parents Should Know about Substance Abuse

Though I think sometimes reporters state facts in a strong tone to get your attention, this information compiled by KSL.com in Salt Lake City, Utah has some great information for parents. We don’t like to think of kids using, but if you consider that a lot of addicts claim to have started using drugs around the age of ten to twelve, this is an issue that parents must consider.

KSL.com’s 7 drug facts for parents:

  1. Teenage drug use leads to addiction
  2. Drug use starts before high school
  3. Underage drug use could lower your IQ
  4. Prescription pills are the new gateway drug
  5. Inhalants (huffing) cause permanent brain damage
  6. Using illegal substances hurts you academically
  7. Underage drinking puts you in dangerous situations

First and foremost, these are jumping off points to start a conversation with your children. The more you talk with your children about the truth of substance abuse, the less likely they are to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Despite what you might fear, kids do listen to their parents and may not give into peer pressure if they know that their parents will be disappointed in them. Your influence as a parent is greater than you imagine.

Second, it is important to know that things have changed in the drug world since you were a kid. Drugs are stronger and have a greater influence on the development of young brains than we understood in the past. For example, the younger you are when you begin experimenting with drugs, the more likely you are to develop a person with substance use disorderion at some point in your life. Why? Not only are the drugs stronger, making dependency faster and more likely, but the wiring of the young brain is not in place and drugs can have a stronger impact than they would on an adult brain.

There’s a lot to be concerned about with young people and drugs. If you’re a parent, keep talking to your kids and let them know what you expect from them. Communication will change the way you live your lives for the better.


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