WESTVILLE COMMUNITY POLICE FORUM
This article is from the old site - What Parents should know
Hints for Parents
What Parents Should Know
Factors influencing experimentation with drugs:
* A lack of affection and attention from parents
* The demands of a performance driven society
* Parent's believe that their kids would never do drugs and fail to inform or warn them.
* Parent's ignorance about drugs
* Peer pressure
* Over emphasis of the "harmlessness' of drugs by the peer group
The effects of drug abuse are not restricted to the drug abuser but spill over to his/her family, friends and society.
Drugs attract paraphernalia such as:
* The excessive use of mouth sprays, chewing gum and sweets to remove the smell of alcohol
* Burning of incense to disguise sweetish marijuana odours
* Continuous use of eye-drops to clear blood-shot eyes
* Sunglasses worn at inappropriate times
* Unexplained tablets, powders or small dry seeds or dagga pips in pockets, handbags or plastic bank sachets
* Cigarette rolling papers or thin, hand-rolled cigarettes
* Inhalant substances such as glue, thinners, "Spray 'n Cook", turpentine, lighter fluids, and acetone
* Un-smoked cigarettes with the filter broken off
* Dagga seeds in ashtrays and on carpets
* Broken bottle necks, dagga pipes or "hubbly bubblies"
* Hypodermic needles or syringes
* Single-edged razor blades (for cocaine)
* Empty cough mixture bottles or diet pill containers (Thinz)
* Tiny spoons, bent spoons, burnt spoons and tin foil (for heroin preparation)
* Brown marijuana stains or glue stains on the fingers, clothes, handkerchiefs or bed linen.
Identifiable characteristics of drug dependency
* Red/blood-shot eyes, visual distortion
* Markedly dilated or constricted pupils
* Unexplained, repeated vomiting or abdominal pains
* Indistinct speech
* Excessive perspiration
* Delayed reflex action and lack of co-ordination
* Disorientation, dizziness, trembling hands
* Regular nosebleeds
* General deterioration of health
* Inexplicable weight loss
* Injection marks/bruising/scabs/sores on arms, legs or private parts
* Yellow stains on hand/finger as a result of smoking dagga
* Endless cold symptoms (sore throat, coughing)
* Long uninterrupted sleeping periods or insomnia
* Change in appetite
* Aggressive/hostile behaviour
* Unaccountable mood swings/personality disturbances
* Lack of communication with family
* Lying and dishonesty
* Guilty behaviour; avoiding eye contact
* Disappearance for considerable periods, especially at night
* Sudden change of friends or becoming loners
* Theft (money, household articles) or abnormal spending
* Neglect of personal hygiene
* Untidiness, if previously tidy
* Impaired word performance, reduced concentration span
* Lack of motivation (school, hobbies, friends)
* Visits to clubs known as places where drugs are used/abused/sold
What to do if you know someone who is taking drugs
* get hysterical
* threaten the person physically or emotionally
* promise them rewards if they stop using drugs
* punish them
* throw them out of the house
* manipulate them
* play an emotional verbal game eg: "How could you do this to us?"
* believe promises that it won't happen again
* lecture on the dangers of drugs
* tell the whole world
* blame other people
* try to find out where they are getting drugs from
* Try to remain calm.
* Facilitate and communicate supportiveness.
* Seek professional help from a doctor, a counsellor, a spiritual leader, rehabilitation centres, help lines.
* Join a support group for parents in the same situation.
* Talk to someone about how you are feeling (a counsellor/your doctor)
* Read as much as you can about drugs and drug addiction.
* Stress LOVE and CONCERN for your child
Tips for parents
* Make time to listen to the child's problems and work through it with him/her.
* Give clear no-use messages about drugs and alcohol.
* Help your child to deal with peer pressure.
* Get to know your child's friends and their parents.
* Monitor your child's whereabouts.
* Supervise teen activities and set an example in the healthy use of leisure time.
* Maintain an open and honest dialogue with your child.