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Advice about Teens: Drugs & Alcohol
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Advice about Teens: Drugs & Alcohol
I found two types of pills in my teen's (16 y/o male) backpack. One is in pill form, the
other plain, unmarked capsule) Is there anyway to find out what these are
start with the internet before you ask
Your best bet is to take the pills to a pharmacist. They may be able to identify them.
Also - any time we've had experiences where we would even question a little bit, we have
used the drug testing kit that you can purchase at the pharmacy. Buy the one that tests for
more drugs. It did pick up my son's prescription amphetamines, so they work.
Try www.erowid.org. Good luck, I know how scary this stuff can be.
Take them to a druggist and ask for an id.
Drugs and alcohol seem to be in wide spread use at teen parties in Albany. My
daughter and I have an agreement that she will tell me when they will be used at
parties she is asking to go to. I've recently discovered 2 things - some parents
are actually joining the teens in drinking alcohol (doing shots with them) and also
that often parents are leaving town for the weekend and leaving their teen sons or
daughters alone. Wild parties with lots of drunken and drugged behavior ensue. I'm
not naive - been there myself. Here is the question: a) should I betray my
daughters confidence (hard won) by contacting the parents of these kids to let them
know whats going on? I have spoken to the mother who does shots, and she sees
things very differently than I do! or b) call the cops anonymously knowing that my
daughter may get in trouble? or c) Do nothing other than continue having
conversations with my daughter about the ill effects of these substances on the teen
age brain. I'm open to suggestions. Of course, I am concerned about the overall
well fare of all of these teenagers. Not just their health, but their safety - many
are driving away from these parties. So sad and scary that this is going on.
Call the cops - the parents are the ones who are going to get in trouble, and
rightfully so. Furnishing alcohol to minors is illegal. Additionally, the law on
potential liability for allowing people to leave your home and get in a car and
drive when you reasonably should know they are impaired and unable to drive safely
is continuing to evolve. Calling the cops seems like a very reasonable and
foreseeable consequence to these parents' extremely irresponsible decisions.
Call it like I see it
You said you ''have an agreement that she will tell me when they will be used
[drugs/alcohol] at parties she is asking to go to.'' Was curious if you allow her
to go to parties even after she tells you there will be drugs/alcohol there - I
would not. For me, it has been better to send a clear msg of no drugs/alcohol and
no to parties without responsible parents present, even knowing teens will be teens
and my kids may break my rules. Other approaches always seem like a slippery slope.
As a former very naughty teenager myself, I think parents need a strict line to try
to keep a lid on things, knowing full well your kids are going a bit above that
line. I would definitely not allow your kid to ever return to the house where the
parent is taking shots with the kids. Calling the cops on that parent is not what I
would do, but I would share that info with the parents of my kid's friends.
It's a tough few years to navigate
Option B 100% , in my opinion. Your daughter won't know it's you who called and it
would be a huge reality check for the kids and parents. Who cares if someone-adult
or child-gets in trouble, it's better then having someone die from alcohol over
consumption or car accident or having someone get raped. You'd feel more awlful
knowing these things were happening and then someone getting hurt or killed and
basically being the holder of such a secret is just enabling and colluding with the
whole set up. It's okay to be the grown up and assert your authority!
Definitely talk to your daughter. But I think you have to expand the conversation
beyond the teen brain. I suggest you talk about some of the miserable consequences
of drinking, such as date rape and alcohol poisoning. In addition you have to talk
about positive aspects of drinking. Like how it makes people feel good and makes
conversation easier. This will increase your credibility. If you only talk about
the negative things, your teenager will not really believe you, because, if alcohol
is so awful, why is everyone drinking? It makes no sense.
I don't know if calling the police is a good idea. But it seems to me that if we
all did that, our teenagers would be a lot safer.
I am wondering about techniques parents are using to help shore up your
child against the temptation/curiosity about drug and/or alcohol use.
Now that my children are both teens, I would like to provide as much
incentive for healthy choices as possible. We already talk about the
risks of drug and alcohol use, but I know peer pressure, and curiosity
can be strong pulls. Value judgments about drugs aside, using substances
as teens is too early, with their body and brain not fully developed. I
had a thought to offer them a financial incentive for staying clean. The
idea is every year of high school that they do not use, they get a large
sum of money to use for fun activities in college. Feedback?
trying to keep them drug free!
I am wondering how you will know that they are holding up their end
of the bargain? Most teenagers outright lie to their parents about
sex and drugs....even the 'good' ones who know the rules.
I think a financial reward might work, but don't make them wait four
years. That is tantamount to saying you want them to use the money
to buy booze in college. How about you add a small sum to their
weekly allowance if they stay clean and sober? I think a quick
reward would be better. Although they may just work even harder to
hide their drinking.
But really, what you say and do is far more important. If you are
telling them all these miserable things about alcohol while you
continue to drink, they will lose trust in you and want to
experiment. You don't have to quit drinking. But you do have to be
honest about the positives of drinking. Talk about the pros and cons
and then explain why you want them to wait and what you expect of
them when they go to college. Talk to them about how they can handle
themselves when they get into uncomfortable situations. Ask them for
their opinion so you can have a discussion. Don't just talk. Listen,
And praise them often.
My son is a sophomore in high school, just turned 16 and has
not tried drugs or alcohol even though he is in a school
(Campolindo High School) where both (and prescription drug
abuse) are rampant. I reward him handsomely with money and a
car. I bought him a truck which comes with clear
expectations, which means zero drugs! You can enforce it by
buying a kit and having him randomly tested. We have not done
it, as my son loves money and just does not want to do drugs,
but pretty soon we are going to test him just to keep him on
his toes. I also reward him randomly and often thank him for
making good choices. For example, on 4/20, when lots of kids
went to school high, I waived a $200 IOU and wrote him a card
that said ''happy 4/20 day'' which he thought was pretty
funny. It might seem that I am bribing him, but we have
always openly talked about drugs and trusted him to make good
choices. I grew up near Amsterdam but never touched any
drugs, in fact I am petrified of them, which my son thinks is
funny. I would say, include your child in the discussion.
Ask them if they would consider a sum of money in exchange
for a ''no drug contract.'' Making them part of the decision
making process might sometimes work better. Good luck.
Mom of high schooler
My son is fourteen and starting up a pattern of experimenting with
alcohol, marijuana, sex, and lying about all of the above. His Dad
and I are divorced but live in close proximity to one another, and we
are currently adjusting our parenting behaviors as rapidly as we can
to try to modify our son's behavior before he gets into significant
trouble of some kind. We did have a therapist for our son, but
according to the boy, the therapist was not helpful, too oriented
toward passive listening and not enough intervention. That's how I
understood his objections, at least. So a male therapist with
experience in teen drug and alcohol abuse and of a more ''hands-on''
persuasion would be good if you have any suggestions. And any
suggestions about parenting as a divorced couple in the teenage years
would also be very welcome.
getting to the end of my rope
Your son is doing pretty normal things for 14. Help him to feel that
way. I would focus instead of trying to prevent ''experimentation''
from happening, to help him make smart choices. For instance if he
is thinking about having sex: USE A CONDOM! Buy some condoms and
leave them in the bathroom for him, or hand him a bag of them. He
HAS to learn how to use them, so if you, mom, don't feel comfortable
explaining it, then ask his father to. Or just do the old banana
trick and allow him to be embarrassed! Drugs & Alcohol: talk to him
about moderation. That's all you can really do and it's more helpful
to him than if you say ''don't do it!''. Talk about body weight and
types of alcohol (sticking with beer is better). The illegality of
it at his age and what are the possible outcomes of getting caught.
You are trying to keep him safe. I never allowed my daughter to
smoke or drink in the house, so she had to do all that elsewhere. I
didn't want to blur the edges of my authority. On the one hand, ''No
I don't want you to do this and I'm not going to allow it in my
house, but I know you are, so please be safe doing it'' sounds like
a bundle of contradictions, but isn't parenting??
If you can talk about things then he won't lie...as much...if you
can remain as non-judgemental as possible he will talk more. Tell
him you love him and care about him.
As far as a therapist, maybe someone who is calling themselves a
''cognitive behavioralist'' because they really work with finding
practical ways of dealing with things, instead of the
soul-searching, Freudian stuff that makes most teens so
uncomfortable! Contact your insurance provider for a list of
therapists who do this.
I heartily recommend Andrew Pojman, Ed.D. at Oasis Center in Walnut
Creek. He's a big, no-nonsense, gentle former football player, a
sensitive therapist with a special gift for working with boys. His
phone number is 925-944-1800.
this page was last updated: Nov 11, 2013
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