STANDING TOGETHER FOR TRUTH
THERE IS NO MORE POWERFUL ADVOCATE THAN A PARENT ARMED WITH INFORMATION AND OPTIONS
Parents, grandparents, other family and friends have one thing in common: they want the best for their child and their community.
Raising children is a joy but one of the most difficult 'jobs'. Many parents feel some guilt for not being the good parent. They often blame themselves if their son or daughter has started using drugs, regardless of how this actually happened.
In this portal of the OVOM website, we look at what parents and other family members need to know when it comes to drug use prevention. In so doing, we address the following questions:
What does my child/children know about drugs. Where have they gained this knowledge? Is it accurate?
How much do I know about drugs, as a parent and the adult carer. Where can I find reliable information about drugs and drug policy?
How should drug issues handled at home and in school?
What signals are given to children who witness open drug outlets and tolerated street dealing, which are the result of permissive government policies?
What role does the media play in permissive drug policy and creating curiosity about drugs for impressionable minds? How much does media reporting ‘normalise’ drug use?
How does government drug policy benefit or contradict family values? How much does such policy ‘normalise’ drug use?
The OVOM website provides parents with science the real facts, shares stories and gives parents, family members and friends a ‘voice’. Parents are responsible for their children. Family and society can and should give parents a chance to give children a drug-free place to grow up in.
This is important to understand if one wants to help addicts and/or their relatives. Blaming an addict or an alcoholic for taking drugs or alcohol does not help the person, as usually drugs are the only solution the person knows. They already know it is wrong, but do not know what else to do. The importance of positive role models is essential.
Children often do not do what you say, but what you do. If we have a headache, we can take a painkiller. If we cannot wake up in the morning a cup of coffee helps. If we go to a party and have a hard time communicating with other people, a glass of wine or more, helps to remove the inhibitions one can have, that prevents communication and fun with others.
For children who witness these adult behaviours with alcohol, this can transfer into the use of illicit drugs, such as cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy etc, in a party setting where they want to ‘fit in’ with groups. When such drugs are deemed ‘acceptable’ by government policy and the law AND are available, the use is far more likely. Permissive drug policy has a great deal to answer for in these settings. Unfortunately, most drugs create new problems and situations and in the long run they can become deadly for the person. Drugs in all forms are a poison to both body and mind.
There are four important aspects to consider when approaching your young person and starting a conversation about possible drug use:
1 . CONFRONTATION
Be prepared to confront the young person in an honest, open and timely way – without an audience – i.e. no others witnessing or distracting. It is especially important not to embarrass the young person in front of peers. Productive confrontation is the ability to be there ‘in present time’ with your young person and to with whatever happens when the subject is broached, or the question is asked. The ability to confront can be learned, even if you have a shy personality.
Communication is the ability to be able to get one’s ideas or perceptions across to another person. It is important to empathize and to be a good listener. Many people have a problem in expressing themselves whether it is verbal or through emotions. But by understanding the different components that make up communication, one can learn and be aware to become better in communication and listening.
Here it is important that people understand what control is. Control is the ability to understand the limits and responsibilities of freedom. When discussing drug taking issues, it is also important to gain agreement that such behaviour is unhealthy an unsafe. You get set goals together and make regular times to have update conversations. It may be necessary to change daily routine and even to curtail some contacts the young person has. It is possible to train how to execute good control in all aspects of life.
We all have various moral codes - rules we consider right to follow to survive. These rules can be different from culture to culture, or from group to group. If we violate a code that we consider important, we start to feel guilty and try to justify it. We try to explain that we did something because someone, or something, motivated us to do it. Often, we blame others for it. But the fact is, that we acted on our own decision. We don’t like others to know we did it. We often withdraw from others in the hope no one will find out. The truth is, however, that if we have a chance to tell what we did (in detail), we will feel free of guilt and recover our lost abilities. Often children have blamed others for “not understanding them”. No one is perfect but drug use only exacerbates the situation and impacts on normal brain development.
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4. CODE OF AGREEMENT AMONGST PEOPLE
AN ORDINARY MUM'S STORY
Around the world, but also here in Sweden, the advocates of legalisation are becoming more and more vocal with each passing day. Young politicians, those who do not themselves have the knowledge or fully understand what such desires would mean if they were realised, have become the mouthpieces of the drug liberals in our country.
All the important papers on drugs once signed and approved by most countries, seems to be forgotten. The group that is rarely or never heard or asked about in this context, are the relatives of addicts such as parents, siblings, grandparents and grandmothers. Everyone around the drug user is silent and suffering and no one, asks how they are doing. Giving them the help they need to get through another day seems to be ignored. The most important thing is to put an end to this misery of our young people who are abusing drugs and destroying their lives.
Facts from research or from those who have already experienced first-hand the devastating consequences of the illegal legalisation of cannabis, for example, no longer seem to matter. Countries are stuck in a trap where they seem to have already regretted their choices and where drugs are now becoming more and more readily available. Should we relatives just sit in the boat and wait for legalisation to reach our shores, with all that entails?
No, I am an ordinary mother who has seen first-hand what drugs can do in the worst case scenario. I wouldn't begrudge even my worst enemy losing their child to this horror. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should have to experience that. So with other relatives and/or like-minded people, I continue to fight alone or with people like me. We want to warn others that drug abuse can very easily have such devastating consequences in an ordinary family.
When a young man came home after a year of holidaying and exploring the world, the mother noticed that the child was smoking cannabis. He denied it. To celebrate his return home, the entire family was invited to a Sunday dinner. The mother informed the whole family that he smoked cannabis. When the dinner was almost over, the entire family stood up and made a cordon of love around their nephew and told him that the family's love was more important than drugs and that they wanted to do all they could to make him continue his life away from drugs. The young man was very surprised but had no retort and above all promised his grandmother that he would abandon drugs. Now several years later, the young man is a doctor who is still grateful to his family for this loving action.
12 Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Addiction