This holiday there will be lots of parties at which your child may be tempted to drink or try drugs amongst their friends.
As a parent/guardian there is a lot you can do to avert peer pressure on your child, by making them aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Substance abuse prevention means being involved in their day-to-day activities and being a positive role model.
- As parents you are encouraged to:
- Set a positive example and get involved in your children’s lives
- Get involved in their activities, know their friends, and know where they’re going and what they’re doing
- Create clear, consistent expectations and enforce them
- Talk early and often about drugs and alcohol
- Discuss the consequences of drug and alcohol use
- Show you care enormously about what choices your children make about the use of drug and alcohol.
Some questions parents can ask are:
- Is my child doing well in school?
- Are they getting along with friends?
- Are they taking part in sports or other activities?
- You can also look for signs of depression, such as withdrawal, carelessness with grooming and/or hostility.
A watchlist for parents:
- Changes in friends
- Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school or declining grades
- Increased secrecy about possessions or activities
- Use of incense, room deodorant, or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odours
- Subtle changes in conversations with friends, eg more secretive, using ‘coded’ language
- Change in clothing choices: New fascination with clothes that highlight drug use
- Increase in borrowing money
- Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.
- Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories
- Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
- New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol
- Missing prescription drugs — especially narcotics and mood stabilizers.
Shavana M Wilson is a Drug Prevention Officer at the Government of Bermuda’s Department for National Drug Control. For more information on how to keep youngsters from becoming involved in drugs or alcohol contact 292-3049 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Website www.dndc.gov.bm.
Cup Match Companion 2012