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Moms Talk: How Can Parents Advise Teens About Drugs?

And how should teens respond when they know their friends keep drugs?

This week, we're asking St. Louis parents to tackle the issue of drug use.

Suppose your 16-year-old comes to you wanting to talk. He expresses concern because he knows that a neighborhood friend has a stash of drugs in his room. He is conflicted. He doesn't approve of drugs, but he doesn't want to become an outsider at school, where a growing number of students are using drugs.

So onto this week's question: What should you tell the friend's parents? And how would you advise your child to respond to the situation?

Martha Baur July 27, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Yikes! I dread the day that this might happen with my girls! I think it is a parent's responsibility to start talking to kids at a young age about taking care of their bodies and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Right now we talk about how smoking cigarettes is dangerous. As the girls get older the conversations will progress to the dangers of underage drinking and drug use. I hope by having an open dialogue, my girls will have the self-confidence and inner strength not to fall prey to peer pressure. WIth that said, if the above situation arises, I would absolutely let my child know that under no circumstance is drug use allowed, and there will be tough consequences at home if I hear/see otherwise. Like I said earlier, keeping the conversation on-going about the negative effects of drug use and focusing on positive activities like sports, family, church, friends and school (in no particular order) hopefully will create an environment that lets my girls know that life is too special to ruin it with drugs. As to the kid with the drugs stashed in his room. If it's a situation that I feel the parents have no idea, absolutely I would tell them. But unfortunately, there are some parents out there who turn a blind eye to their kids' shenanigans.
Cole Kelley July 29, 2011 at 03:53 AM
I would have to agree with Martha. As with everything it starts at home. If you have firm foundations in what is acceptable behaviors it will carry through. I think it has to do with not only educating your child on the dangers of substance use and abuse, but also strong sense of self and being able to say "NO" when influenced by peers. I do not put that responsibility on anyone else other than my husband and I. I will never turn a blind eye to my child's behavior both right or wrong because unlike many parents out there my job is to be her parent and not her friend.

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