The St. Louis area continues to be part of a national epidemic, and if you think it can’t affect your kids, you’re wrong.
Heroin and prescription painkillers are a threat in every city and school district. Urban, suburban and rural areas are all experiencing the ravages of this epidemic. If they haven’t already, your kids will be faced with making a decision about whether they will try heroin or, more likely, prescription opiates. Visiting this website is a great first step to becoming educated about these drugs in order to help your child avoid what would be, at best, an unhealthy choice, but, at worst, a catastrophic life-changing or life-ending decision. We encourage you to read through all sections to arm yourself with the basic information necessary to be able to discuss the risks and realities of these drugs with your child.
The very best prevention available to any child is having caregivers who are aware of problems related to substance use, provide a good example, establish firm boundaries, communicate openly and frequently (starting in their elementary school years and continuing into high school), and are actively and consistently involved in their child’s life.
Difficult as it may be, especially during the high school years, caregivers need to make it their business to know where their children are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Parents need to talk to other parents. Do not be afraid to contact other parents should you have concerns about your own, or anyone else’s, teen.
Many young people who begin using these drugs will actually be able to function well for a time, and the warning signs may not show up until addiction has taken root. We cannot stress enough that active, involved parenting is key.
Whether you just have questions, or have a child who is in trouble, NCADA is the place to turn. Please feel free to call us at 314.962.3456.
If you are outside of the St. Louis area, then visit SAMHSA’s National Help Center to find a place near you.