Children and Drug Abuse

Dealing with Children and Drug Abuse

The way drugs are taking over our schools and destroying our children’s lives probably frightens you. But if you suspect a child is using drugs, you must tread carefully. Tell him that drugs can damage his health and his future.

Watch for the Warning Signs of Children and Drug Abuse

Although the warning signs of drug abuse vary from person to person, there are some changes you should watch for in your students. Be concerned if he or she:

  • gives up usual sports, hobbies, or friends
  • becomes angry or depressed easily
  • develops health problems such as sleepiness, bloodshot eyes, or weight gain or loss
  • has academic or conduct problems at school
  • has blackouts, memory lapses, tremors, hallucinations or delusions

Dispel Drug Myths

Two illegal drugs commonly abused by teenagers are marijuana (pot) and cocaine (coke), There are many myths that could make students think pot and coke are safe to use.
Teenagers often think it is safe to smoke pot. They could not be more wrong. Marijuana is both physically and psychologically addictive. Long-term users suffer from irritability and insomnia when they try to quit. But not quitting can be even worse. Pot can cause lung cancer and other diseases, just as cigarettes can. Pot also causes kids to lose their ambition and drive, and may keep a child from becoming emotionally mature.

The risks of coke are better known. But youngsters often think they’re invulnerable to drugs. Cocaine and “crack” (cocaine that’s smoked) are some of the most addictive drugs around. They’re also unpredictable. Cocaine can kill suddenly by triggering a heart attack or seizure. And injecting coke — or any drug — can put a child at risk for AIDS.

Self-Esteem Is the Best Defense Against Drugs

Children often try drugs in order to “fit in” or to impress their friends. Staying clean can be very difficult for a child who has little confidence in himself. You can help your student resist drugs by telling him that he is special, too special to waste his life with drugs. Staying clean can be very difficult for a child who has little confidence in himself.

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