It isn’t easy to live with adolescents under normal circumstances. The situation becomes a whole lot worse if they start to use drugs.
Lack of communication, arguments, secrecy and self-centredness are all part and parcel of growing up, so it isn’t always easy to tell if drugs are involved.
Cannabis is the drug most young people begin with, and we know that its use can lead onto harder drugs, there is evidence it primes the brain for harder drugs, so preventing use is vital.
Parents should follow their instincts. If you have a feeling that things are not as they should be, talk to your child and to the school. If your child is using cannabis (and the age of initiation is falling in the UK to an average of age 12-13), your child is almost certainly getting supplies from another child at school – ask the school what their policy is on possession and dealing of the drug. Be confident – they are in loco parentis and most children begin their addiction at school!! You may be able to nip things in the bud. Get together with other parents – parent power is strong, remember you are the clients. Find out as much as you can about drugs to empower you. Remember that cannabis is not the same as it was in the 60s and 70s, it is 2-3 times more powerful and potentially very dangerous to the mental health of the young! As one addict said to us “Skunk’ may be Class C but it has a Class A effect. “I’ve tried just about everything but it was that stuff that I couldn’t handle, completely messed with my head, it was awful.” So there you have it – from the horse’s mouth.
© Talking About Cannabis www.talkingaboutcannabis.com