Drugs are more prevalent in today’s society than they ever have been. They’re easier to come by and they come in different forms, quantities, potencies, and mixtures. For a child or adolescent being raised in this world, the opportunity to try different substances is rich. The culture today tends to lean more towards the idea that a person has the right to try and do anything that they want. If something makes a person happy, it’s good.
While the idea behind this is good and people should be happy, there is deception in this. For anybody who develops a dependency on anything – hard drug related or not, the effects of that dependency can be and often are absolutely devastating.
Be Honest With Yourself and Them
Even a drug thought to be harmless and believed by many to be helpful can produce ill effects. The fact of the matter is that the fruit that stems from the use of and dependency on the substance is often bad. Dependent on marijuana? That’s a lot of money spent. Addicted to food? That’s money and health flushed down the drain. All dependencies have side effects, and since life practices are molded from infancy, it’s best that people learn from the beginning to stay away.
The first step is to be honest with yourself and with your children about substance abuse and why you’ve chosen to allow yourself or them to do certain things. When you establish this kind of relationship with your children, they’ll be more apt to listen to you about why certain choices are bad.
Avoid Whenever Possible
There is definitely a time when prescription medicines are necessary, but often people are too quick to jump the gun and grab the prescription bottle or reach the bottle to dull their pain. When you’re raising your children, it’s important that you show them that they’re strong. There are alternative ways to receive relief for pain that don’t involve addictive substances.
You don’t want to teach them from infancy that the moment they start feeling a tickle of something uncomfortable that it’s okay to reach for the bottle. Pain is not always something that should be medicated. People have to learn to deal with it and use it to build themselves up, not as a reason to numb themselves. If you avoid things like over the counter drugs and other addictive behaviors whenever possible, it will make it so that your child isn’t being conditioned for a lifestyle of substance use from a young age.
Many people avoid talking about things for fear that they’ll expose their child to something too early. This is something to think about, but if you wait too long and your child doesn’t know that something should be avoided, you might come to a point where it’s too late. The best way to prevent things is to educate. Show your children what addiction does to people. Show them the fruits of the behaviors and teach them that the choices they make will have repercussions. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.