In this lesson we are going to explore teenagers using prescription drugs. In it you will learn:
If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.
Concern Level: 9
You may notice that I’ve listed the concern level as “9” which is higher than everything else discussed except for hard drugs. Why is that? When our kids start taking pharmaceutical and prescription drugs, they’re reflecting and mimicking the biggest challenge we face as a society: numbing ourselves.
Look around at the world and you can see that whenever someone has a problem, we tell him/her to take a pill. What most adults fail to realize is that emotions are there for a reason and they’re not supposed to be swept under the rug. Feeling sad and depressed is a good thing because it’s saying very clearly, “Hey, I am not happy with life right now and I need to do something about it!”
Instead of looking at these feelings and emotions we take a pill and hope everything will work out. It won’t! In fact, things just get worse.
Teenagers using prescription drugs to get high is on the rise and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. If your teenager is going to any “pharm” party (short for pharmaceutical) you should definitely be concerned. These drugs (when poorly mixed) can cause a lot of damage and become quite addictive emotionally. More so, many teenagers mix alcohol with them and that’s a deadly cocktail.
Why They Do It
Remember, when addressing these types of issues focus on their state of being and “why” they are doing it.
1. Because they want to get high and have fun with their friends.
2. Because it’s a way to escape their feelings and emotions.
3. Because it’s easy to get and since most adults do it, they don’t feel like they’re doing anything wrong.
1. Fun – If your teenager is doing it just for fun, then your major concern is “how” they do it so they don’t harm themselves. It’s important to educate them about what they’re taking and what the drug can do. And while it’s not a healthy choice for them to be doing these drugs, if they’re just doing it to have fun you don’t need to be “as” alarmed. You should be concerned and explore the issue with them in the hope that you can paint a picture as to why not doing it would be a better choice for them. Simply put, they need to find something else that is just as fun.
2. Escape – If your teenager is taking the drugs to escape their emotions or life in any way, then you need to be highly concerned and get involved as much as possible without pushing them away. Remember, the drugs are not the issue here. It’s your teens state of being is the true issue. Stay focused on the root cause which is their emotional state of being.
3. Adults do it – Mimicking an adult is the main reason that most teenagers will take these drugs and assume it’s ok. It’s a hard thing for kids to swallow when they see their parents and family members taking pills and are then told that they’re not allowed to. Remember the importance of leading by example.
Approaching the Situation
The first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself. If you’re taking these drugs (most kids follow in their parents footsteps) to suppress any emotions, then your teen is reflecting your behavior. If this is the case, then you can’t approach them with any integrity until you’ve stopped taking the drugs yourself.
However, if you are taking them for a legitimate reason or are not taking them at all, here is how you can broach the subject:
First and foremost your energy and thoughts should be calm and centered remembering your unconditional love for your child. The most important thing is to find out why they’re taking them. You need to quickly find out if the drugs are being taken for recreational use or to suppress some emotional issue. If they’re just doing it for fun, while I’m in no way condoning the usage, you don’t need to be “as” concerned. Concerned yes, but not as much as you would be if they were taking the drugs to suppress their emotions. I suggest that you are straightforward with your teenager and say something to the effect of:
“I know that if you want to take these pharmaceutical drugs there is nothing I can do about it. If you’re taking them now I would really like to talk about it to see why you’re taking them and what you get out of it. I want to make sure that you and I have the type of relationship where we can talk about anything and that if you’re having any problems you can talk to me. Are you doing it for fun or to escape some emotions you may not be dealing with? While pharmaceutical drugs are socially acceptable in our society and not as physically addictive as alcohol and tobacco, they can still cause a lot of harm. I want you to know that no matter what I love you and am here for you.”
The most important thing you need to find out is if they’re taking them just for fun or to cope with some emotions. If it’s to cope with emotions, you need to nip this in the bud as soon as possible. If it’s just for fun, then know that it’s a phase and the best thing you can do is educate them so they know what they’re getting themselves into. The key here is to make sure they know how you feel about it (that you prefer them to not do it and that you do not condone these actions) while at the same time being realistic about the fact that they can do it without you knowing. The best thing you can do is to keep them by your side while they’re doing it. If they’re doing it to suppress some emotions, then don’t focus on the drugs. Focus on their emotional state because they will stop taking the drugs once their emotions and state of being are positive.
Either way, you’re in for a ride and your patience is going to be tested. Stay calm and centered and know that there is no quick fix here.
You will also need to find out which drugs your teen is taking and educate yourself so you can be there for them armed with as much information as possible to help keep them safe.
I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.
– Sergio Diazgranados