WRIGHT WAY: A drug-free world
by WILLIAM WRIGHT
May 30, 2012 | 1220 views | 103 103 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A survey taken by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported that more teens now say it's easier for them to get prescription drugs than it is to buy beer.

The survey of teens 12 to 17 also revealed that parents are often ignorant of their teens' use of drugs. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that every day 2,500 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high for the first time. Is it possible your child or grandchild is one of them?

The report also stated 1 in 5 teens has abused a prescription pain medication and 1 in 10 has abused a prescription stimulant. This comes as no surprise to some experts seeing that youths get bored, restless, reckless, easily influenced and just outright curious at times.

For example, the latest trend is to invade their parents or grandparents medicine cabinet for an inconspicuous "high." It seems no one is minding this particular "drug store."

According to an April 2012 poll by The University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital, nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription drugs in places that are easily accessed by children, resulting in more emergency room visits for accidental poisonings and a prescription drug addiction epidemic.

The Drug Awareness Foundation calls the medicine cabinet "a haven for drug abusers, stealing prescription medicines to over-the-counter cough medicines and sleeping aids, all in an effort to get high."

The online report warned adults to take precautions to better safeguard these drugs that are easily found in their bedroom, trash can, refrigerator and on kitchen counters -- especially since 10 percent of teens say they took drugs from friends or relatives without asking. That's just the 10 percent who would admit it!

Now that prescription medications are the second most frequently abused drugs among teens after marijuana, parents and grandparents are being asked to play a major role in eliminating this threat by making sure their medications are locked away safely or carefully hidden from youths.

This may seem like a real inconvenience for people who take pills morning, noon and night, but ask yourself: Would it be better to error on the side of caution and hide your medication than to live with the fact that your negligence contributed to your child or grandchild becoming a drug addict? You decide.

Many Christian parents are reinforcing their children with reminders that we must all answer to God for our actions and they too can be held responsible for their choices in life. Hebrews 4:13 says, "All are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." -- English Standard Version.

Even our choice of associates can play a major role in the decisions we make. As 1Corinthians 15:33 says, "Make no mistake, bad company is the ruin of a good character." -- The New English Bible. So wise parents will help their children see the dangers of bad association and avoid it.

Some children may ask: "Where in the Bible does it say you should not smoke or take drugs for fun?" In His wisdom, God inspired words that would cover any and all such dangers to His people.

At 2Corinthians 7:1 it is written, "Let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body and spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God." -- New Living Translation.

Few people will argue that taking any drugs for fun would be OK in light of this Bible command. Besides, 1Peter 5:8 tells Christians to "be sober" or "keep your senses." If as a parent you notice your child or teenager become overly secretive, start lying, stealing or exhibiting extreme behaviors, it may be a signal that they are using drugs.

Instead of making accusations, it might be best to talk with your child and share your concern. Experts say parents should first talk privately with each other to decide the best way to address their child. Be calm. Use a normal tone of voice.

Even if you're angry, it is best to try not to let your emotions take over. Think before you speak. Ask direct questions about your concerns. If you have evidence, say so. Listen to anything and everything your child has to say.

Ask questions about what the child wants his or her life to be like at this stage -- in school, with friends, parents, siblings, a job and so forth. Listen. Offer unconditional love and support. Tell your child you love him or her no matter what.

Plan together some concrete next steps to find information on drug addiction, recovery and identify professional help that will be most suitable. Remember, the first line of defense in this war on drugs is at home. By being alert, careful with prescription medicines and supportive, your child does not have to become a casualty.

More importantly, by studying and applying God's Word, we put ourselves in the position of living in a drug-free world when people will find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace, according to Psalm 37:11.

For further information, visit www.drugfree.org.