WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM DRUG ABUSE
CHILDREN ARE OUR MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE
WRITTEN BY MINISTER SHIRLEY RHODES
No matter how many times we may ask the question are how many different ways we may ask it, “WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM DRUG ABUSE?” The same answer keeps returning back to us. We as parents are responsible as the front line defense of helping to keep our children off dangerous drugs. Time and again, kids say their parents are the single most important influence when it comes to drugs. The message needs to start with you as parents. Kids need to hear about how risky drug use is. Research has shown that the earlier parents talk to their kids about drug use, the less likely they will be to use and abuse drugs. Even if their kids have already tried drugs, informed parents can act to save their kids from drug abuse.
Studies have also shown that the children that are not shown the proper love and care at home from their parents will actual turn to other peer groups even joining gangs. The most important and natural part of growing up is to fit in and belong to a group. It is natural that children want others to like them. Sometimes the group they want to join is using illegal drugs and tobacco and a teen may turn to these illegal drugs just to fit in and belong.
Teaching kids the danger of alcohol and other drug use is not enough. Children need to learn how to refuse and avoid the use of illicit drugs. Parents have another and very important obligation, and that is, to help kids deal with peer pressure. This is not an easy task to accomplish but it is not an impossible task.
Whenever you are in doubt of what you need to say or do to help your child, just remember these words: “Keep vigilant watch over your heart, that’s where life starts. Keep your eyes straight ahead; watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:23-27!”
Early adolescence is a time of enormous and often confusing changes for a child, which makes it a challenging time for both your kids and you. Being tuned in to what it’s like to be a teen can help you stay closer to your child and have more influence on the choices he or she makes — including decisions about using drugs or alcohol.
However, if you are one of those parents that are abusing drugs yourself, you are pouring fuel on a fire that might have already started to burn in your children’s lives. We point this out because it is the reality of many parents raising children and at the same time they are using and abusing drugs themselves. This makes you less an authority figure in your children lives and harms your relationship with them and your ability to help keep them away from drugs.
Therefore, we offer up this advice to you as a parent to help you help your children not to begin using drugs and becoming addictive to them. Because here is how Drug Abuse is seen from a child’s perspective: Before you decide to take that first drink, smoke that first joint/cigarette, snort your first hit of cocaine or any other substance that poses the chance of addiction, think, it’s not just about you.
Children are sometime victims as well and to help address issues and heal their wounds; let us consider for a moment:
- Broken promises– do you break your promise of family time together, don’t keep your promise that you will not drink or use drugs on certain days; this can cause the child to grow up thinking they are not loved or important enough to you.
- A victim of mood changes-always changing rules, loving one moment and abusive the next confuses the child.
- The child may feel ashamed or embarrassed (especially around friends) because alcohol or drugs may turn a lovely parent into a total embarrassment.
- May experience tension and fear, because the parent is a substance abuser the child never knows what might happen next, therefore they feel unsafe or live in fear in a place in an environment where they should other-wise feel safe and protected.
- Guilt may become a pattern for the child because they may feel their parent’s behavior is their fault so they try to adjust to what pleases the parent, not able to recognize that substance abuse or Alcohol abuse is an illness and it’s not their fault.
- Anger and hurt, children often feel neglected, mistreated, and less important and may grow up with a profound sense of abandonment. As some age they may copy the parents behavior at an early age and begin to experiment with alcohol and/or other drugs
- Loneliness and isolation, because the family hides and or denies the problem they will not discuss it among themselves which causes the children to think they are the only one with the problem.
- Lying as a way of life, the need to constantly cover failure of the parent.
- Feels responsible/obligated, children often feel it is their job to organize and run the home or care for younger siblings; hide the problem from authorities in order to protect the parent.
- Children are precious resource given to us by God to love and protect; he adore children.
One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off, but Jesus intervened; “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” Are you one of these people?
We all are parents to the children of the world. No child should ever be turned away when they are in need of tender loving care. It is up to each one of us to know the truth, because what you don’t know can put your child at risk. You may think you already know enough about the drug culture because drugs were around when you were growing up. You may have even tried marijuana when you were a teen. Today, kids know more, are exposed to a greater variety of drugs and drug sources, from friends to music and the media. Drugs are often cheaper and easier to find for kids today. Educate yourself about the new drug culture and how you can help your children stay drug free and if they are not drug free, help them to get the proper treatment. Now before concluding this message, take a few minutes more and watch this video clip on a few Alcoholic facts.
It has been found that adolescents who enter treatment are more likely to achieve long-term sobriety than those who enter as adults, and the earlier they enter, the more effective the treatment will be. We know that in early adolescent years, youth are courageous and may have high-risk behaviors. They think nothing bad will happen to them. Today, using drugs is a dangerous risk for children. Parents must talk to their children and explain that using alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco is not an acceptable risk-taking behavior, and the reason why is because, “CHILDREN ARE OUR MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE!” And as such, we as Parents, “ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM DRUG ABUSE!”
- How We Can Help to Overcome Alcohol and Drug Abuse (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
- First-time teen tobacco and marijuana use booms in June and July – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- Newborns pay price as opiate addiction rises in Maine (bangordailynews.com)
- “A new life is possible,” former drugs user testifies (focus.rw)
- New Online Source for Latino Families Struggling with Teen Drug/Alcohol Abuse (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- New Survey by Narconon Riverbend Shows That Most Addicts Try Drugs Before Age 14 (prweb.com)
- New Resources for Prevention of Adolescent Prescription Drug Abuse (prweb.com)
- Methamphetamine Use During Pregnancy Results In Termination of Parental Rights: In re Roni M.H. (herstontennesseefamilylaw.com)
- Mikati: Addicts need treatment, not punishment (dailystar.com.lb)