The Partnership at Drug Free is a website dedicated to assisting parents with preventing and dealing with drug abuse by their children. Drugfree.org is packed with resources for parents, including a toll-free hotline at (855)-DRUGFREE OR (855) 378-4373.

Parents, sometimes faith and prayer is not enough. As parents, we know this to be true. Consider the perfect parent: God the Father. He created humans and gave us the opportunity to live eternally at peace with Him, the world, the animals and other persons. Yet, the first people, Adam and Eve, still chose to “eat the apple.” The apple is symbolic of our desire to be in control. Satan capitalizes on that desire every day by tempting us — and our children — to live selfishly, to choose pleasure over safety and to worship anything but God. Drugs are not only chemically addictive for many humans, but they also represent a way to choose something in opposition to the values of our parents, to rebel and prove to ourselves that we are in control as teenagers, not our parents.

Modern Western cultures offer few external moral constraints for teens in regards to drugs. Police no longer arrest teens or adults who possess or use drugs. Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in many states now and the trend to decriminalize drug use due to the nature of addiction means there are few consequences for trying illicit drugs – other than the chance of addiction or a “bad” drug trip.

Your best defense for protecting your children — in addition to prayer and faith — against drugs is positive communication with your children throughout their preteen, teenage and young adult years, the influence of other adults, positive reinforcement for other types of activities such as a job, spoA brts and hobbies and school involvement. A balanced, healthy parent finds a way to involve all of the above tactics while raising their children. For us, some of those influencers were other Christian parents, youth sponsors and adults who had struggled with drug use themselves. Those adults were able to influence in ways we could not.

The Drugfree.org website is an awesome resource that includes:

  • Tips for talking with your children about drug and alcohol use.
  • Research findings so you know the facts. Don’t let your children be the experts on drug use. You must become the expert and recognize the signs of drug use early.
  • Blogs by parents and experts, including parents who have been there.
  • Ways to prevent drug use and abuse.
  • Where to get help for your child and family if faced with addiction by a child or teen.
  • How to intervene if you suspect that your child has a problem.
  • What to look for in recovery programs for your teenager.

Check it out before your child turns 10 – because increasingly, children are experimenting with alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and prescription drugs in fourth, fifth and sixth grade. Know the facts and arm your children with the tools they need to resist peer pressure at their first, unsupervised party.

We learned, from our children, that parents often lied directly to us, the parents. When we asked if they were going to be home the entire night for the party or slumber party, they told us, “Yes.” However, the parents then agreed to leave and let the teens manage themselves. We were perceived by those parents as being prudish, old-fashioned or controlling. Additionally, if your children feel a lot of peer pressure, they may lie to you, and say that adults are there. Another difficult lesson for us was learning from our children that some parents actually provided the alcohol or marijuana for the under-age students at their home.

Parent who has been there? Give advice to those entering this stage of parenting.

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