What Parents Should Know
It doesn't matter how good your child is or where you live, your child is at risk. The infestation of drugs in our society is at an epidemic level and crosses all socioeconomic and education borders. How can parents help children through the minefield of temptations and peer pressure? Following are a few suggestions.
- Become educated about the problem. Learn about the terminology and effects of the drugs.
- Watch for changes in behavior. Have there been changes in sleeping habits? Has your child’s appetite changed significantly? Has their attitude changed for no apparent reason?
- Is your child spending more money with nothing to show for it? On the other hand, are things appearing with no apparent expenditure?
- Who is your child hanging around with? Are old friends no longer around and you have never met the new ones? Are questions being met with evasive and vague answers?
- Hug your kids when they get home. In addition to letting them know you love them and care for them, this simple act gives you the opportunity to detect many problems. Smoke, alcohol and chemicals all leave tell tale odors in the clothes and hair.
- Are prescription drugs disappearing?
Watch the whole behavior. Some of these actions can be explained as part of the normal growth process, however, taken in combination they could signal problems.
REMEMBER! There are no safe drugs. All drugs, including tobacco, liquor, narcotics and even herbals have a potential for abuse.
How Can I Help in the War on Drugs?
Pay attention to what is happening in your neighborhood.
- Is there unusually heavy traffic in and out of a house, apartment or parking lot? Drug traffic usually involves stays of very short duration, typically a matter of minutes.
- Do you notice unusual exchanges between people? Nervous exchanges of small objects or money are often indicative of a drug buy.
- Are there a lot of exchanges taking place through the bars of a fortified door or window?
- Have you noticed regular meetings taking place between the same people at the same location?
What do I do if I notice suspicious activity?
If you observe suspicious activities in your neighborhood, call your local police department narcotics unit. If possible be prepared to supply the following information.
Under no circumstance should you place yourself in danger to obtain any of this information.
- Exact location of the activity.
- Time of heaviest traffic.
- Describe the dealers. Include the race, age, sex, height, weight, hair color and style and any names or visible marks you may know of.
- Average description of buyers.
- Type of drug being sold. If you hear the name of the drug, report it.
The more information you can supply safely, the easier it will be to address the problem.