Parents

“Shelly and Mick” were hard working parents. From the time she was reading What to Expect When You are Expecting, she was taking precautions with her children. Mick coached their games. Together they talked to their kids about drugs, alcohol and the uncomfortable topic of sex.  They took their responsibility as parents very seriously. They tackled those tough issues with open, honest conversations — don’t drink and drive. “If you are ever at a party and end up needing a safe ride, call us — we will pick you up.” Don’t feel pressured to have sex. Know when to say no. And drugs — marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, bath salts. All topics were covered. Except the one that changed their lives. The dangers of not taking the doctors order seriously with what was stored within their own medicine cabinet…

According to a 2012 Monitoring the Future survey, about 50% of high school seniors said that painkillers would be fairly or very easy to get.**

**National Institute of Drug Abuse for Teens

These drugs are traded in hallways and classrooms, at parties and in parking lots. These teens are ending up in emergency departments.

According to the Partnership at DrugFree.org, kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not.

The teenage years are often naturally chaotic with emotions. Impulse controls are not fully mature in adolescents. Suicide risks are compounded by the emotional impact that drug misuse and abuse causes.

For some, the next step in an out of control addiction is Heroin. As reported by a local police department these overdoses are also on the rise in our communities.

“Pharm Parties” are another type of problem facing Indiana teens.  Prescriptions are acquired through various means and taken in a group setting as a form of game. Random pills are mixed up together in a bowl/bag and teens reach in and select a “random high.” They call it “Trail Mix” What is yet even more frightening is that the teens are willing to engage in such risky behavior, often drink during these parties as well. Sadly, if a teen ends up in the Emergency Department, many times no one has any idea what they took.

Prevention Methods to Minimize Risks for Teens/Young Adults:

  • Follow doctors orders when treatment is required, but talk to your doctor about minimizing risk factors
  • Consider alternatives to prescriptions in your medical plans
  • Take only what is truly “as needed for pain”
  • Be aware that multi-household families require communication to remain aware of concerns with drug usage patterns. In other words, joint custody means there may be two sets of doctors/rules/patterns to be aware of for young adults
  • Keep commonly abused drugs safely guarded
  • Stay educated – share your knowledge
  • Know that a drug may acquire a nickname or code name (“Addy” may not be a real friend)
  • Seek ways to calmly a communicate your concerns
  • Don’t limit conversations about drugs to “street drugs”
  • Understand that the risks are not limited to overdoses
  • Expect that behaviors adults in the lives of these youth have an impact

Several additional resources are available to help you have this conversation with your teen/young adult child.

Trust your instincts to find out if it is time to talk to a professional. If you see signs of addiction or abuse in your teen, Get Help NOW.