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									Understanding The Impact Drugs And Alcohol Have On Your Child

Your child using and abusing drugs and alcohol might be the furthest thing from your mind but in reality the
problem may be closer to home than you think. These problems do not just affect teenagers as parents might
like to believe. Children are experimenting with drugs and alcohol as young as elementary school, and it is
important as a parent that you recognize the signs and understand how to talk to your child about keeping them
drug free. This article will help parents understand how drugs impact their child's life and how to avoid
making common parenting mistakes.

Children are more perceptive to the activities going on around them than you may think. If you abuse alcohol
or do drugs yourself chances are that your child knows, no matter how well you believe you hide it. The best
way to help your children to avoid doing drugs is to set an example and not use them yourself. As a parent you
are a role model to your child and they will mimic your behavior no matter what their age. Not using drugs
yourself shows your child that you practice what you preach, and they will hopefully follow in your footsteps
as they encounter peer pressure.

Something that children, especially teenagers, respect is honesty. You may be tempted to use scare tactics to
deter your child from experimenting with drugs and alcohol such as exaggerating the consequences of their use,
but honesty is the best policy. Telling your child that they will die if they drink a beer or smoke some
marijuana just might end up back-firing in your face.

Explain the impact that drugs have on a person's life, such as a constant lack of money, personality changes
or a decrease in the love of activities one once loved and participated in. In addition, explain the impact
the abuse of drugs and alcohol have on society as a whole such as poverty, crime and other such impacts. This
will help them to understand the true impact that drug abuse has.

Understanding the signs of drug use and abuse are important in order to appropriately address the issue with
your child. If your child is suddenly begins using gum, breath mints or other breath fresheners after being
out with friends and seems a bit off balance, it can be an indication of alcohol use. If you notice that your
child's grades are slipping, they are losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, heavily perfume their
clothes, their eyes have a bloodshot, glassy appearance and they avoid eye contact all together it may be a
sign they are smoking marijuana.

If your child is putting psychedelic posters up, chewing on pacifiers and seems to be in an overall mental
state better suited for Woodstock then they may be experimenting with psychedelics such as mushrooms, LSD or
Ecstasy. Extreme behavior shifts, stealing money and valuables, increased run-ins with the law, and a total
lack of interest in school can mean your child is using harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin or crystal meth.
If any of these signs are noticed you should talk to your child immediately.

As a parent, your first instinct is to protect your child from the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately
drugs can be found in any town, so your best defense against your child experimenting with drugs is a good
offense. Hopefully this article has helped you to understand drugs and how they impact your children.

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