Your son would never do drugs, right? He’s a good kid. He plays in the band. He makes good grades. He generally stays out of trouble. And, after all, you doubt he’d even have the time. Furthermore, you did just read that study, which suggested African American youths were less likely to use hardcore drugs than their white counterparts. So that gives you some comfort, right? So you brush it off…until…
…Until that one day, you get that call: That call to let you know your son was arrested (despite their lower instances of drug use, African American teens are still more likely to be arrested for drug-related crimes). Or worse, that call to let you know the emergency medics have done all they could, but they couldn’t revive him (heroine overdose deaths have nearly tripled in the last four years for African Americans).
Whether you want to admit it our not, your teen will likely encounter underage drinking and illegal substance use. Two in every five high school seniors reported some form of underage drinking while one in every four seniors reported marijuana usage. As parents, we want to control our children from making these poor decisions, but the sad truth is no parent will ever have full control of our children’s choices.
However, parents can help protect their children from such misfortunes by having open conversations about drugs and alcohol and by educating themselves of what alcohol and drug abuse symptoms look like in our teens.
The makers of TeenSafe, a parental phone-monitoring service, shared with us these infograpics to help parents spot these dangers warning signs in their teens.
BMWK, do you talk to your children about drugs and underage drinking? How did you do it?