Preventing Teenage Drug Use

- Drugs are everywhere- even in cabinets at home.  So how do you make sure your teens are not abusing them?  Belinda Palacios, our parenting expert, has some important things to keep in mind. 

"The issue is not just with illegal street drugs," she said. 

She goes on to say that kids do not see using drugs that they find at home like a prescriptions as something illegal.  Medicines like cough and cold medicines that have DMX as the ingredient are being used by teens to get high.  According to Palacios, use of these at high or consistent levels can cause heart or liver damage.

"Kids do not look at what they do today as something that will affect tomorrow."

She also sites current culture as a culprit. 

"The political debate on marijuana is an issue with kids," she says.  "Because of this, kids do not see the adverse effects and gloss over the fact that it impairs your functioning."

Warning Signs Kids May Be Using:

Physical: fatigue, red/glazed eyes, confusion, lasting cough

Emotional: personality change, mood swings, irritability, general lack of interest

Family: breaking rules, arguing, withdrawing from family activities

School: decreased interest/grades, negative attitude, absent/truant

Social: new friend with less interest in standard home/school activities, involvement with law, change in style dress/music that is less conventional

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