A survey suggests that Britain’s teenagers rank top amongst heavy drinkers and drug users in Europe. Interestingly though, almost 80% of young people between 11-15 years say they have never taken drugs. The problem starts from 15 years. The chances of pupils taking drugs increases with age, from 11% of 11-year-olds to 37% of 15-year-olds.
The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs carried out a survey where 15 and 16-year olds in 35 countries were interviewed. From the interview, 29% of girls and 26% of boys in the UK had been involved in binge drinking (drinking five-plus alcoholic drinks in a row) not less than three times in the previous month. The same study found that 35% of girls and 42% of boys had once tried illegal drugs.
This period, 11-15 years, is the best time parents can make a big difference to the decisions that their children and wards make about drugs. To do this, you should
- Pay attention to your children
- Do not overly restrict your children, encourage independence
- Have rules and consequences for breaking them. Rules should be fair and applied consistently
- Encourage your children to express themselves and discuss their options in their lives
If you suspect that your kids are already taking drugs, do the following
- Don’t panic. Stay calm and think of how best to address the situation. Show love and concern rather than anger
- Talk to them – at the right time. Encourage them to talk to you honestly and give them the enabling condition
- Know their friends
- Be an excellent role model
The key to curbing drug abuse in teens is through early planning and detection. According to www.addictionhelper.com, below are some signs to look out for in your kids