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Teenagers, Drugs & Alcohol

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Teenagers, Drugs & Alcohol 'At the opening night for Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes", in which she starred, Tallulah Bankhead got into an argument with the writer, Dashiell Hammett. Hammett, commenting on her addiction to cocaine, told her that he didn't much like people who took drugs. Tallulah retorted, "You don't know what you're talking about. I tell you cocaine isn't habit-forming and I know because I've been taking it for years."' Drugs and alcohol is a very tender topic, so you need to be supportive when talking about it, but the possible consequences of drinking and taking drugs are far too dire to ignore. So even though you might stumble and falter, the stakes are too high for you to remain silent. Communicating your beliefs and values about drugs and alcohol gives your children a set of guidelines and limits to help them make healthy decisions. One big talk (like the "birds and bees" lecture) is not the route to follow; you can find many opportunities to introduce your opinions, beliefs, and questions. TV shows, news reports, movies, and newspaper stories are good starting points for a conversation. ...read more.


It's got everything to do with the allure of experimenting with forbidden substances that entail pleasure, status, and acceptance in your peer group. You can prohibit your teenagers from drinking or taking drugs but that does not necessarily mean you can prevent it. This does not mean that you should casually accept your child's alcohol and drug experimentation. Your biggest concern should be the prevention of invariable use and addiction with dangerous substances like heroin and cocaine. Following your example What your kids need to see most of all is you setting a good example. Sacrificing things like your morning coffee, your after-dinner cigarette and your evening drinks can show this. Do you really need them anyway? Do your kids see you drink and drive? Through your own example, what messages are you sending your kids about drugs and alcohol? Your kids will notice any hypocrisy on your part. Talk is cheap. Serve as your own example of your beliefs and values concerning drugs and alcohol. Don't just preach it, live it! Give them facts Teenagers don't buy the argument that trying a "milder" drug means they'll soon be injecting heroin. ...read more.


This will really make them think about whether it is really worth it. Drink and drug driving Drinking and driving is the biggest killer of adolescents. You must be steadfast and clear about your rules concerning drinking and driving. You have every right to insist that your teenager should not drive after drinking or ride with a driver who has been drinking. These same rules should apply to any drugs. This rule should be accompanied by a heartfelt promise: If your child is ever faced with drinking/drugging and driving or riding with an intoxicated driver, he MUST call you up. You will pick him up (regardless of the time) or arrange to have him picked up. Upon his safe return home, you promise you will not question, punish, or lecture him. If your child fears calling you, he may drive drunk and never make it home. Doing your best You can't eliminate your teenager's curiosity about drugs and alcohol; you can't shield them from the social pressures to use them. Keeping silent and letting her come to her own conclusions about this is unconscionable. You can encourage their self-worth, give her the hard facts, establish firm limits, set a positive example, and always stand by them. Jeffrey Bousfield 11W ...read more.

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