The Internet is today’s new playground for today’s youth. From Club Penguin to Instagram to Snapchat to our teen’s looking for more ways to have excitement offline.
Prescription drug use isn’t just in your medicine cabinet or street drugs…. teens are ordering drugs online.
Researchers from Columbia University spent five years searching the Internet for websites that advertise and sell prescription drugs. They found 365. Eighty-five percent of them did not require a doctor’s prescription or proof of age, even though people were buying powerful narcotics. (CRC Health)
What can parents do to help prevent this behavior?
Talk to your kids. Explain what’s wrong with buying medications illegally, in terms they can understand. Tell them in no uncertain terms that you strictly forbid them to buy drugs on the Internet. Be specific about the consequences (your choice here), and make it clear that disciplinary actions will be enforced on the very first violation.
If you suspect or find out that option 1 isn’t working, move the computer out of the kids’ bedrooms and into common spaces (living room, kitchen, etc.). Tell them that the computer will remain in a common area for a set period of time, so that you can monitor their Web use.
If options 1 and 2 aren’t working, check the computer’s browser history. Yes, this is spying. But if you believe your child is really involved in an illegal activity, you have an obligation to investigate. (Keep in mind, safety trumps privacy. This is about your child’s welfare). This shouldn’t be used because you are simply snooping for no reason – you are rising losing your child’s trust.
(Source – Psychology Today)
If you find that you have exhausted your local resources, including therapy, or your teen is simply out-of-control, you may want to consider residential therapy. Contact us for a free consultation to determine if this is an option for your family.
This is a sobering fact that parents need to stop being in denial about.
We have good kids making bad decisions.
1 in 4 kids who have tried alcohol had their first drink at age 12 or younger
Every day, more than 4,000 teenagers try an illicit drug for the first time
Kids who learn about the risks of substance abuse at home are significantly less likely to use. Parents and other caring adults do matter and can make a difference.
These statistics are why it’s imperative you build a relationship of trust and open your lines of communication with your child and especially a teenager. We know it’s not easy, however it’s necessary.
In today’s fast-paced society, parents may have to schedule time with their teens – don’t skip those family meals, make it a priority. If not every night, at least several times a week. Studies have proven that having meals together can reduce risky behavior in adolescences.
If you suspect your teen is using drugs and your conversations have gone on deaf ears, turn to local counseling. If you are still struggling, please contact us for information on residential therapy.