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Using the Four Letter Word at Home: A discussion on drugs

No parent has a burning desire to talk about drugs with their kids. More often than not the “drug” word is avoided at all costs in the home. Avoiding this talk can be a really bad idea. It’s important that you open the lines of communication with your child so that they feel comfortable asking you questions and talking to you about whatever is on their mind. If you can set the expectations before your child’s teenage years, that would be ideal. However, if your child is already a teenager, there is no time like the present to tackle the drug topic.  

The First Step

Set the expectation from the beginning. Talk to your child about how you feel about drugs. Educate them on the negative consequences they could face. The mental, physical, legal, and disciplinary consequences should all be included in this discussion. Teens who are aware of their parent’s disapproval of drug use are less likely to use. Also, set the example. You should practice the kind of behavior you want your children to model. You may think your child isn’t watching, but studies suggest otherwise.

Tone it Up or Tone it Down

There is a difference in being firm and “laying down the law”. The wrong tone can miscommunicate the message and/or close off communication lines with your child. If they fear you to a high-extent, they will not want to come to you in a time of crisis, because they fear judgment. You can convey seriousness and strictness without being threatening. Don’t be too hard.

Also, don’t be too soft. Everyone wants to be the cool parent. Remember cool parents can still hold their children accountable. They may call you the fun-sucker now, but they’ll thank you later. Make your expectations and present the facts about drugs clearly.  This should not be a topic free for interpretation. Give the facts and set the expectations. Plain and simple.

Start the Conversation Now

Don’t assume your child is smart enough to say no to drugs. Peer pressure and the glamorization of substance use is running rampant. Talking to your kid doesn’t mean you doubt their decision-making skills or distrust them. Talking to your kid shows that you care for and support them. This talk could be the difference in them saying yes to substances down the road like prescription drugs, hallucinogens, meth, and more. Do your part. Start talking now.

Kokua Recovery Can Help with Teen Addiction

Kokua Recovery is a recovery program for adolescents ages 13-18 struggling with addiction. The program uses a research-based approach to lead students down the pathway to recovery. Kokua Recovery emphasizes the importance of identifying the core factors that contribute to the individual’s addictive behaviors. An individualized plan is developed from there. Students leave Kokua Recovery feeling restored in all aspects of their lives. Let us help your family today and call 877-302-5022.

Ken Huey

Upon graduating from Purdue with a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, Dr. Huey worked as a therapist, Clinical Director, and Business Development Director in residential treatment. Dr. Huey was always drawn to the large population of adoptees in residential treatment (he is adopted himself). He ultimately became convinced that this population needed specialty care and in November of 2006, Dr. Huey founded Calo. Calo grew to a 200 plus employee organization with about the same numbers of teen clients served each year. He sold Calo and retired in June of 2015. He came out of retirement in 2017 and founded Kokua Recovery, trauma-informed residential drug and alcohol treatment with sites in Colorado.

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