There is a shocking truth that your tweens & teens aren’t telling you. Today, my brother is here to tell the story. My brother, Doctor Timothy Hoffman, is the principal of a wonderful high-school in our area. His wife, Jill, is also a teacher at the middle-school. They have been around tweens & teenagers for a long time, and they’ve learned several things that are important to bring to a parent’s attention. Tim has been telling me these shocking truths for a while now since our kids are getting older, but today I asked him to share it with you, too.
(They also have two completely adorable children of their own (that I write about often & feel that I have bragging rights on b/c I love them so much ♥) named Dylan & Lia.
The other day, Tim and I were talking about middle school and high-school. He has worked at several districts in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and has seen the habits of these students. He has traveled to several other countries to talk to other parents and educators. He is aware of what many parents don’t see… and don’t want to see.
What he told me was shocking. These young, young children are doing drugs. They are Vaping & using E-Cigarettes that are unknowingly laced with chemicals and drugs, causes trauma or death. The scary part is that the worst one is what is right under our noses. Young teenagers and even tweens are doing drugs that are in the homes of their friends, family and maybe even their own homes, right now.
In fact, CBS News reports that one out of every ten kids ages 12 to 17 is currently a user of illicit drugs, according to a government survey.
I don’t think that I knew anyone that was doing drugs when I was in school (and if they were- I was oblivious to it.) However, I was shocked and terrified by some of the information that Tim gave me, whic is why I felt that I needed to pass the knowledge onto other parents.
So, today, he is sharing some of that knowledge with us…
Take it away, Tim…
Tweens & Teenagers are experimenting with drugs at a MUCH younger age…
Here’s what your kids need YOU to know:
“I had the unique opportunity to attend a public service meeting at our local police department. At this meeting were representatives from several local schools, churches and other concerned citizens in the local community all coming together to learn about the issue of teenagers and pre-teens experimenting with drugs.
Now, one may think that the drugs being discussed where the likes of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana; yet, this meeting was focusing solely on drugs more readily available to the average teenagers or preteen: prescription medicine.
Prescription medication can be found in most households. Many people have current or old medicine that was prescribed for a variety of reasons. I know in our house, we keep our medication up high, but we also keep some in our bathroom medicine cabinets. This cabinet has no lock and stays closed with the assistance of a two inch magnet.
As I looked through the medication, I found bottles of pills designed to calm nerves, an old bottle of that can be classified as a narcotic pain reliever, amongst others. I never counted the pills, so I could not tell you how many pills were in each bottle. I didn’t know if it was expired or not. In examining my medicine cabinet, it was evident that I was setting the stage for a major temptation as my children get older. Not just for them, but for their friends, as well.
The issue that we discussed was the growing trend of teenagers taking prescription medicine. According to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids website, two-thirds of teens who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting them from friends, family, and acquaintances.
In some cases, students may not be even aware of the type(s) of medicine that they are ingesting. Even the thought of one of my children taking one or multiple pills from my medicine cabinet scared me to death. Kids are curious… they hear about taking medication from friends, and they have a curiosity that may lead them to make a poor decision.
Why make it tempting for them? Why give them the opportunity?
I immediately did FIVE things.
- Inventory: I went home and counted the medication that we had. I now know exactly how many pills are in our home. This action will ensure that I will be aware if any pills go missing.
- Secured: I got online and bought a safe to keep all of our pills in. Though this may be inconvenient to lock up our medication, it is when worth punching in a six digit code to ensure that my children or their friends are not able to walk into our bathroom and have access to our medication.
- Talk: I spoke openly with my relatives and friends that my children visit on a regular basis including my sister, parents, in-laws, and neighbors. I discussed the growing issue of students using prescription medication and my concern that my children (even if they act like angels now!) may be tempted to experiment as they get older. I asked them to lock up any medication. If they did not want to keep the medication locked up on a daily basis, I requested that they respect our wish and complete this action when we visit with our children.
- Talk: I CONTINUE TO DISCUSS THIS ISSUE WITH MY CHILDREN. I talk to them about medicine such as when someone should take medicine, what to do if they find a bottle, etc. I try to be open and honest and with my children. One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is not having conversations with their kids, out of embarrassment. In addition to prescription medication, I also talk openly with my children about bullying (both sides of it), working hard and what to do if they see a gun. Talking to your children is extremely important. Also, encourage your children to come to you if they need help. Do not be judgemental when your children tell you something. While their problems may seem small when they are very young… one day our children will have more significant problems, and that is when they will need an adult’s wisdom, experience, and problem-solving skills. Encourage them to come to you NOW, so they will remember to go to you THEN.
- Dispose of medicine: During this meeting, I learned that our local police stations have a lockbox where an individual can dispose of old medication 24 hours a day. Upon learning this, I located all of the medication that we no longer used and took it to the police station. This action was incredibly easy, and I know that we do not have any medication in our house that we are not currently taking. By properly disposing of medication allows for me to be more diligent in inventorying our medication. I no longer have to worry or check medication that we don’t need because it is no longer in our house.
Although this article focused on prescription medication, PLEASE also talk to your teenagers and preteens about over the counter medication as they present some of the same dangers as prescription medication.”
Remember – kids take drugs for the first time out of curiosity or peer pressure… they don’t intend to become addicted, but it happens and it can be a life-long problem. Help your child now by taking preventive steps in your home and by talking to them.
PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT POST NEXT:
The SCARY Truth about What’s Hurting Our Kids
I also want to share this e-mail idea. It’s perfect for young teenagers…
RESOURCES: Below I will include several lock-box suggestions with affiliate links to find them online quickly.