Talking to Your Child About Drugs
When children don't feel comfortable talking to parents, they'll seek answers elsewhere, even if their sources are unreliable. Children who aren't properly informed about the misuse/abuse of substances are at greater risk of engaging in unsafe behaviours and experimenting with drugs.
Parents who have informed themselves about the effects of drug use can offer their children accurate information to avoid any misconceptions. Parents are role models for their children, and their views on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs can strongly influence how their children may perceive them.
Few parents ever imagine that their child will grow up to consume drugs but drug usage among the young is a stark reality. Drugs is common use in all societies, unfortunately Gibraltar is not immune to this. People from all walks of life consume drugs.
Having the adequate knowledge about the usage and availability of drugs is the first step towards educating your children, who can then in turn make informed choices. The second step, and probably the most important, is talking to your children at an early stage about the dangers of drug use.
Nobody is immune to the destruction that drug abuse causes within a family unit. Any child can end up suffering consequences, regardless of their upbringing.
However certain peer groups may be more likely than others to consume drugs. Children will turn to drugs for different reasons, one of them being social isolation.
It is therefore important to acquaint yourself with your child's friends and their parents. It is equally important to listen to your child, be aware of their emotional state and be vigilant to any behavioural changes.
A warm family environment where children are encouraged to talk freely about their feelings, feel supported and have their questions and concerns answered will allow them to make informed choices.