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Old 04-24-2020, 07:45 AM
Status: "Daring to hope" (set 8 days ago)
Location: Coastal New Jersey
62,618 posts, read 59,483,973 times
Reputation: 75520


Sometimes there is nothing you can do. There are no guarantees. Educate them as to the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, and as part of that education let them know that if they do find themselves in trouble with addiction, that there is no shame in seeking help.

And this from the post above me bears repeating:

A lot has to do with what their friends do or think is ok to do. Peer pressure outweighs parent pressure almost all the time. Telling them they cannot be friends with certain kids will have the opposite of the intended effect most of the time. Try to keep them communicative with you and discuss respectfully as you can if they start hanging out with problem kids.
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:11 AM
Location: Southern NC
2,013 posts, read 4,484,122 times
Reputation: 2756
I only know what worked for me with my 2 girls.
I was honest with them about my past.
I was a wild teenager seeking approval from people due to having an extremely dysfunctional family.
One of my daughters did try pot one time, and said she didn't like it.
I was fortunate that I had such a close relationship with my teenage daughters, and they knew they could tell me anything without judgement.
They are now 26 & 30 years old, happily married, with kids of their own.
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:56 AM
159 posts, read 26,320 times
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This is what I tell my 16-year-old son.

Sooner or later, you will be offered alcohol, weed, and drugs. If you use them, you'll probably have fun. And then you'll want to do it again, and again, and again until it becomes a habit, a lifestyle, a way of life. Then, your life will revolve around it. As a result, you will NOT be successful and you will be miserable in life. If you don't see yourself indulging in these vices on a regular basis, why do it even once? Furthermore, I tell him, if you're willing to get up every day and go to school and to work and, if you make good choices, you will be successful and, as a result, you will be happy.

Our sheriff department maintains a web page that shows mugshots of everyone who gets arrested, their alleged crime, and other details. Most of the arrests are, of course, drug and alcohol-related. He and I have viewed that page many times. A lot of the people appear to have had a very difficult life based on their physical appearance. I tell him, that is the face of someone who didn't get up every day and go to school or work and who has a lifetime of poor choices. Do they look happy to you?

I also took him to the county courthouse on sentencing day and we watched one person after another being brought before the judge and hearing their sentence. Most of them were in orange jumpsuits and most of them were being sentenced for minor charges, DUI, petty theft, etc. I told him, if you ever do what these people did, you too will end up in front of the judge. As well, all of your friends and family will know about it.
Would that make you happy?

I myself never had such guidance growing up. I did a lot of bad things, but nothing that would make the nightly news. I learned a lot of bad things from people who didn't care about me or had my best interests in mind. I have taught my son about a lot of bad things in society, that way, when he encounters them, he'll recognize them and have some perspective. I tell him, you're going to go down roads for which I have already traveled. Be wise, not foolish, and listen to the experience and wisdom that I have shared with you.

With all that said, I know he's just a kid and so I repeat myself frequently. He's a REALLY good kid and I want him to remain a really good kid and grow into a really good, successful and happy person. Of course, I also speak to him about God, Jesus, morality, right and wrong, etc., but I suppose that's another thread. In the end, his choices will determine his future. I am doing my best to educate him and I hope and pray that he's willing to get up and work hard every day and make good choices in order to be successful and happy in life.
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Old 04-24-2020, 09:35 AM
6,041 posts, read 3,312,181 times
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Originally Posted by sundestroyer View Post
I'm not a parent but I was talking to my aunt who has a new baby and she said that drug use destroyed led to homelessness of her son (my cousin). She was wondering how she'll prevent him from using drugs in 15-20yrs time when he's a teenager/young adult.

What do you think the best strategy is; abstinence only "Don't do drugs", or harm reduction "We don't want you to do drugs but if you do, use them safely".
I found the biggest problem, while raising my sons, was that parents are not all on the same page.
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Old 04-24-2020, 11:29 AM
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
24,636 posts, read 23,203,628 times
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Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Keep them busy. Having something to do, will keep them from trying drugs because they are bored. Intense sports can turn their life around. I am not a sports aficionado, but one of our sons was headed down a dark path and then he started rowing. Now a national champion, coach and health-nut, he can tell you the effect that almost any substance will have on your health and rowing performance. He is not likely to risk smoking anything as he already has asthma and that is enough of a handicap to overcome. Intense cardio sports like running, bike racing, rowing, swimming, etc seem to be the best, because you cannot continue to do them and do (most) drugs. Besides, they can replace drug use with dopamine, similar effect, less damage. (Dopamine is a chemical your body releases during/after intense exercise and gives you a drug like rush.

Try to make them feel like they are worthwhile and can make a difference in the world, without telling them (or yourself) that they are special and without making them the center of the world. It can be too much of a blow when they find out they are not special and the world is not centered on them.

Get them involved in community service, especially serving homeless people in a way that they are forced to interact with them (like serving food).

Avoid prescription narcotic pain medications outside of a hospital. Yes, it is better to deal with the pain and whatever relief Advil can give than to risk addiction destroying your life. People lived successfully for thousands of years without narcotics. Your kids can do it too. The risk is too great for the benefit they provide IMO.


If it happen, dont blame yourself. Seemingly perfect kids often fall prey to drugs. Med school students with perfect histories suddenly become heroine addicts. OTOH kids with drug addict parents often turn out to be model citizens and never drink or take any drugs.

A lot has to do with what their friends do or think is ok to do. Peer pressure outweighs parent pressure almost all the time. Telling them they cannot be friends with certain kids will have the o opposite of the intended effect most of the time. Try to keep them communicative with you and discuss respectfully as you can if they start hanging out with problem kids.
This is basically what I was going to say. Keep them busy and involved and be busy and involved with them be it sports, dance, music, community service, church whatever. And watch who they hang out with. You have to be proactive in their lives.

And then sometimes nothing you do will prevent it.
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Old 04-24-2020, 12:51 PM
Location: WMHT
3,622 posts, read 3,575,304 times
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Exclamation Some people, andd some substances, are more addiction-prone

Better to tell them the truth, set them up to make good decisions. Tell your kids "reefer madness" lies and they'll assume all your other warnings were also falsehoods.

Some people are more prone to becoming addicted, and some substances are more likely to cause (physical, or psychological) addiction. I don't know that it's reasonable to try to protect every teen and young adult from ever encountering an addictive substance until their brain and habits are fully formed?

Everybody in my European-derived ethnicity family, drank wine with dinner and on special occasions, but none became an alcoholic. Compare and contrast with the ethnicity omitted family in my neighborhood, the dad was absolutely a raging alcoholic, all his sons grew up to become boozers themselves. Nature, or nurture?
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Old 04-24-2020, 02:45 PM
12,467 posts, read 17,499,475 times
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Move your children to a country that does not do drugs. It's that simple. Of course, cut them off from internet and Hollywood movies and anything else propagating drug use.
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Old 04-24-2020, 04:03 PM
13,238 posts, read 10,795,698 times
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All of us need something to do to keep occupied. Make sure when they are small children that you introduce them to many of the enjoyable things the world can offer - camping, travel, friends, etc. and let them find hobbies.

Then don't stop as they get older - make sure there are wholesome things available to stay occupied. Importantly, let them find things they enjoy, not just things you enjoy, and help them pursue their wholesome passions.

And help them find good friends, rather than prohibiting bad friends which just leads to sneakiness and deception.

That's about all you can do. There is no 100% foolproof way to do it.
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Old 04-24-2020, 07:14 PM
Location: STL area
1,293 posts, read 652,269 times
Reputation: 2730
Well raised kids can still turn to drugs fwiw. That said, her best option is openness and honesty...especially about family history. The tendency towards addiction is there and the risk is real. It’s best her child knows that.
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Old 04-24-2020, 07:41 PM
15,160 posts, read 7,182,055 times
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Some kids, no matter how well they are raised, are going to turn to drugs and/or alcohol.

I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic mother and a father who was the perfect enabler. He never stood up for us kids when our mother was being abusive. He, too, at times would take the belt to us. Both of them often were verbally and emotionally abusive to us.

When I have told people about my home life growing up, more than once I had someone say to me that they were surprised that I didn't do drugs or become promiscuous. Thinking back on all that, there was something in me that kept me on the straight and narrow. IOW, the thought of living like that never felt right to me.

Yet, my younger brother started smoking, drinking and using pot when he was in high school. I later heard he dabbled in the harder stuff. Self medicating ended up killing him. He died of lung cancer in his mid-50s. I realized that he was depressed and was self medicating. My SIL would urge him to get help but he refused.

My point is we grew up in the same dysfunctional family.

There is much discussion about nature versus nurture. You can have a child, raise him/her in a loving stable family. Teach them right from wrong. Show them that there are consequences for misbehavior. Yet that child goes off the rails. On the other hand, you can have a child raised in dysfunction who ends up successful in life.

All that said, by all means parents need to set good examples and talk about the dangers of using illicit drugs, etc. In fact, I encourage that. However, once the child is out on his/her own, they are going to live their own life and as a parent you can't stop an adult child from going down the wrong path.
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