Opinion: What drugs tempt your kids?

Published 10:52 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of guest columns by the counselors in the Andalusia City School system.


Drugs have always been a problem in our society; however, it seems that lately the pressure that children feel to try drugs is greater than in the past. Our children are faced with not only the drugs that have been around since we were young, but also new drugs that we, as adults, would never recognize as a means of getting high. Today our children do not have to meet in shady locations to buy drugs; instead they can readily find them in their own homes, in the household cleaning supplies or even in their parents’ own medicine cabinet or purse. Still, the greatest defense against children starting drugs is an educated and proactive parent.

Parents need to be willing to talk with their children about drugs. As uncomfortable as it may be to start the conversation, parents needs to talk about drugs and talk often. Conversations can begin with a recent incident in the community or just sneak the conversation in at any time. Make sure that you, as the parent, are providing information that is relevant to your child’s age keeping in mind that children are facing peer pressure to try drugs at a much younger age today than in year’s past. Make sure that your family establishes a zero-tolerance policy in regards to both misusing prescription or over-the counter drugs and the use of illegal drugs. Most importantly, when you have talked with your child about drugs, talk again.

In addition, to being willing to talk to your children, parents need to become a learner of what drugs are out there today. Parents need to know what children will be faced with, and what today’s drugs look like and smell like. One way to do this is to listen to your children. Often our children can teach us more than we could imagine. However, any time parents are given the opportunity to learn about what drugs are used today, that would be time well spent.

Andalusia City Schools, as part of Parental Involvement Month, is sponsoring a community meeting led by the Covington County Drug Task Force (DTF) on Tues., Oct. 21, 2014, at 6 p.m. in the Andalusia High School Auditorium. At the meeting, parents will have the opportunity to learn from the source, the officers that are fighting drugs on our streets daily. DFT officers will talk with parents about what drugs are most common in our area, what signs to look for in your child, and how to talk with your child about drugs. In addition, they will be there to answer any questions that you may have. Please come out and join us as we learn together about the drugs that our children are facing today so that we are better prepared to be their greatest defense against drugs.