Heroin Education for Kids & Teens
Preventing heroin overdose and addiction should start from a young age.As a parent, one of the most important things you can do is provide age-appropriate heroin education. The conversation may start out unspecific, but as children grow, they need to know the realities and dangers of drug addiction.
Providing Heroin Education: Age-Appropriate Conversations
When talking to young kids, it’s usually best to start the conversation on a level that they’ll understand. The important distinction that you’ll want to make is that drugs are bad—not the people who use them. There are many people who struggle to understand addiction as a disease, but explaining it this way to may make the next generation understand more about how addiction works and how they can avoid it.
As children grown into teens, they’re more at risk for addiction and should be told even more about the dangers and consequences. Discuss the potential social, physical and legal ramifications heroin use can have. Make sure that they understand the facts about heroin and how dangerous it could be for their future. Make sure that above all, you’re informational, and that you’re letting them know all of this because you love them.
Providing Heroin Education: Teaching Your Child to Say “No.”
Discussing addiction and the heroin’s dangers is also a good time to talk about peer pressure and how to say “no” to situations that could put them at risk for heroin use.
Some great methods to teach them include:
Being assertive: While this method won’t work for all teens, since their brains are still developing at this stage, some are very good at simply saying “no” in a calm, assertive way. Peers are unlikely to push back if the person saying “no” is strong about it.
Blaming the parents. Let your teen know that it’s perfectly okay to say, “My mom would lose it if she caught me doing that,” or, “My parents will find out, and I’ll be grounded forever.” This helps to take the heat of peer pressure off of them.
Not using guilt or shame. If their friends are using heroin, rather than saying, “I’m not going to do that and you shouldn’t either,” teach your teen to say, “I’m not going to participate, but go ahead if you want to.”
Trying some humor. Laughing it off is sometimes the best route to go. Teach your teen to say something like, “Nah, I’ve never been cool enough to do drugs,” or, “I’ll probably just get that powder all over my black dress, and then what will I do?”
However you teach your child to get out of the situation, make sure that they can be comfortable telling you about it afterwards. Build trust, follow through on your rules and praise them when they make good decisions.
Providing Heroin Education: Precautions You Can Take as a Parent
Many times, heroin use starts as a result of painkiller addiction. If you have any painkillers in your medicine cabinet, be sure to lock them up. If you have excess, throw them away somewhere other than your home trash can.
If your child has to take painkillers, make sure you express to them how important it is to only take the recommended amount, and to take them on schedule. Help regulate your child’s medication intake and ensure that they stay on that schedule.
Most importantly, always lead by example. Be willing to give a strong, “no,” when something doesn’t jive with your beliefs, and regularly encourage open communication with your children about subjects like addiction and peer pressure. Listen to their feedback, ask questions about their friends and lives, and, above all, take the time to talk to them. If you’re worried that your child is exhibiting symptoms of heroin use, contact us to help them get back on the right path.