Some conversations feel like daggers, yet these conversations can lead to honest revelations. The truth is that all families have to come face to face with the reality of drug addiction, even for kids. It is important to understand the danger, especially for those who have a history of addiction in their family. Kids and teenagers need to hear about your family's addiction problems, and they need to be prepared for the reality of drugs.

Addictive Substances are on the Prowl

Sure, it is possible that your child or teen has not tried drugs, but that does not mean that he or she has not been exposed to them. Consider that by the eighth grade, 28 percent of adolescents have already consumed some type of alcohol, fifteen percent of kids have smoked a cigarette, and 16.5 percent of kids have smoked marijuana.

To say that it is not likely that your child or teen will be exposed to drugs is dangerous, because the studies suggest the possibility.

Remember that kids and teenagers are in a very fragile state in their development. This is a stage where friends and groups of children are influenced by other kids. This means, even though your child has not tried drugs, there is a high probability that he or she has a friend who has.

Talking to Your Children

You might think that all those pamphlets, articles, and general information about talking to your kids about drugs will not be helpful, but that is not the case. Statistics show that kids who constantly hear about the dangers of drugs or hear just how damaging they have been in their own family tend to listen. Kids who are constantly taught about the ills of drugs are 50 percent less likely to use drugs than kids who never had these conversations.

Actions may Speak Louder Than Words

Patterns are real, and some families suffer from patterns of drug addiction. This is sometimes linked to poor stress coping techniques. It is no secret that drug abuse starts with people who have a hard time coping with different stresses in life. Anxiety, shock, and other issues can negatively effect people, which may lead them to use drugs.

Kids learn from you and their surroundings. This means that it is likely that your child might learn poor coping techniques, so your kid could end up using drugs, too.

Children have a lot of stuff to worry about like keeping up grades and social pressures, not to mention friends. A child could also be dealing with problems in the household, so the life of your young one is full of triggers.

Pointers to Remember When Talking to Your Children

Consider the following:

Honesty Matters

One of the most important things to remember is to be honest with your children. For example, it is okay to go over your family addiction issues in detail. Write out some of the key aspects of the addiction, and be sure to talk about your thoughts or feelings regarding the addiction. Do not shy away from unresolved problems and consequences.

Age Appropriate

It is important to be honest, but that does not mean that you need to divulge every aspect of the addiction problem in your household or family history. It is no secret that some of the issues associated with drugs can be very dark, disturbing, and sometimes scary. Just try to do your best when you talk to your child and be direct without going over some of the darker details.

3-C's Importance

Talking to your children about drug addiction, especially if it something that has affected the family recently, can be a little tricky. Children who have witnessed the effects of drugs first-hand may have certain emotions and thoughts running through their heads. These thoughts and feelings need to be addressed. It might be a good idea to address some of these issues using the 3 C's principle, which is sometimes used in many addiction recovery centers. The first 'c' stands for the fact that you did not cause the addiction to occur. Your child should know that. The other 'c' says that the problem cannot be cured. The third 'c' means that drug addiction cannot be controlled. This three-part principle might help your child cope with the kinds of problems that he or she might have been exposed to.

Knowledge Matters

Children are curious, and it is a good idea to have at least some knowledge regarding the drugs that you are going to be talking about. You are the person they are looking up to, which could make your answer that much more important. It might be a good idea to have your child talk to the person who had the addiction so that he or she can discuss the problem. The answers provided by the ex-addict might be more poignant than answers from someone who has not gone through the problem.

Allow Children to Speak Freely

Try to make sure that you leave enough time for your child to share his or her feelings. Do your best to ensure that you do not judge his or her responses nor is it a springboard for an argument. You want your child to feel safe when sharing something with you.

Stay Connected

Parents should try to get to know their children's friends. This does not mean that you should judge a friend based on his or her appearance but rather get to know him or her so that you know what type of person he or she is. Knowing friends and establishing a connection may help keep you informed and help deter friends with the wrong intentions.

Controlling it

Drug addiction might still happen, no matter how much you prepare or what you do to keep your kids or teens free from drugs. If you suspect a problem, you might need some help. You may need to talk to professionals who understand how to deal with child addiction. There are specified treatments for children that are overseen by experienced specialists. This should help lead your child to a place where they are no longer chained to the drugs.

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