TALKING WITH KIDS ABOUT DRUGS
Talking with kids about drugs.
Don’t put off talking to your children about alcohol and other drugs. As early as fourth grade, kids worry about pressures to try drugs. School programs alone aren’t enough. Parents must become involved, but most parents aren’t sure how to tell their children about drugs. Open communication is one of the most effective tools you can use in helping your child avoid drug use. Talking freely and really listening show children that they mean a great deal to you.
What do you say?
- Tell them that you love them and you want them to be healthy and happy.
- Say you do not find alcohol and other illegal drugs acceptable.
- Many parents never state this simple principle. Explain how this use hurts people. Physical harm – for example, AIDS, slowed growth, impaired coordination, accidents. Emotional harm – sense of not belonging, isolation, paranoia. Educational harm – difficulties remembering and paying attention.
- Discuss the legal issues. A conviction for a drug offense can lead to time in prison or cost someone a job, driver’s license, or college loan.
- Talk about positive, drug-free alternatives, and how you can explore them together. Some ideas include sports, reading, movies, bike rides, hikes, camping, cooking, games, and concerts. Involve your kids’ friends.
How do you say it?
- Calmly and openly – don’t exaggerate. The facts speak for themselves.
- Face to face – exchange information and try to understand each other’s point of view. Be an active listener and let your child talk about fears and concerns. Don’t interrupt and don’t preach.
- Through “teachable moments” – in contrast to a formal lecture, use a variety of situations – television news, TV dramas, books, newspaper.
- Establish an ongoing conversation rather than giving a one-time speech.
- Remember that you set the example. Avoid contradictions between your words and your actions. Don’t use illegal drugs, period!
- Be creative! You and your child might act out various situation in which one person tries to pressure another to take a drug. Figure out two or three ways to handle each situation and talk about which works best. Exchange ideas with other parents.
How can I tell if a child is using drugs?
Identifying illegal drug use may help prevent further abuse. Possible signs include:
- Change in moods – more irritable, secretive, withdrawn, overly sensitive, inappropriately angry, euphoric. Less responsible – late coming home, late for school or class, dishonest.
- Changing friends or changing lifestyles – new interests, unexplained cash.
- Physical deterioration – difficulty in concentration, loss of coordination, loss of weight, unhealthy appearance.
Why do kids use drugs?
Young people say they turn to alcohol and other drugs for one or more of the following reasons:
- To do what their friends are doing
- To do what my family members are doing
- To escape pain in their lives
- To fit in
- For fun
- To take risks
Take A Stand!
- Educate yourself about the facts surrounding alcohol and other drug use. You will lose credibility with your child if your information is not correct.
- Establish clear family rules against drug use and enforce them consistently.
- Develop your parenting skills through seminars, networking with other parents, reading, counseling, and support groups. Work with other parents to set community standards – you don’t raise a child alone.
- Volunteer at schools, youth centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, or other activities in your community.
- Get your child help! If they need it.
DISTRACTED DRIVING-----Don't Become Another Statistic
Help Teens Identify and Reduce Distractions New drivers face a big challenge behind the wheel; in fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that for every mile they drive, teens are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than other drivers. Additionally, crash risk increases with the number of passengers. Parents must model safe driving behaviors, and can teach teens to limit distractions and focus on the road.
Quick quiz: What does eating a hamburger, getting into a discussion, and reading a GPS screen have in common? Well, if you’re doing any of these things while driving, you become distracted in ways that increase your risk of crashing.
In fact, distractions come in three forms: visual, manual, and cognitive.
Visual distractions cause you to take your eyes off the road. When traveling at 65 mph, if you look at your GPS for two seconds to check where you are on the map, you’ll have driven two-thirds the length of a football field before you see the road again. That gives you plenty of time and distance to get in a serious crash.
Manual distractions take your hands off the wheel. When you use one – or even both – of your hands to get that hamburger under control, you risk losing control over something much more important – your vehicle. You also are greatly slowing your ability to respond to changing or unexpected conditions that can occur without warning.
Cognitive distractions take your mind off the task at hand. When you get into a discussion – whether it’s with a passenger or over the phone (hands-free or handheld) – your mind can become absorbed more with the discussion than with driving. Sometimes you don’t even need another person to create a cognitive distraction. If you’re upset or thinking about an important meeting, your body may be behind the wheel, but your head’s not. So give yourself a break: Focus on driving and leave the other stresses behind.
What about texting? More and more states are banning handheld phone usage and texting while driving, and new technologies are being developed to lock keypads and block other functionality of mobile devices when you’re behind the wheel. You may be thinking that there is a big fuss being made about texting. And you’re right, because texting while driving combines three types of distractions. When your eyes are reading the screen, your fingers are typing on the keypad, and your mind is busy crafting a message, you’re not paying attention to driving and you are more likely to crash – 23 times more likely in fact. Texting while driving combines all three potentially lethal types of distractions and is extremely dangerous.
Make adjustments before moving. Adjust seat positions, climate controls, sound systems, you’re driving. and other devices before you leave or while the vehicle is stopped. Know how your controls work, so if you must adjust something on the fly, you’ll be less distracted. Use presets for radio and climate control, or have your passenger assist you.
Stop to eat or drink. Drive-through windows and giant cup holders make it tempting to have a meal while driving, but you’re safer when you stop to eat or drink. Reducing your risk will be worth the time you spend.
Pullover to a safe place to talk on the phone, text message or email. Cell phones can be a great resource for getting help or reporting trouble. But, whether you use a handheld phone or a hands-free device, talking while driving causes you to take your mind off the task at hand (and sometimes your eyes and hands, too). Your best bet is to pull off the road to a safe spot before you use your phone to talk, text message, or surf the web. Be careful, because stopping on the road can be very dangerous. Find a safe area away from traffic. Learn how your phone’s controls work in case an emergency call while driving is unavoidable. And practice good habits: Turn your phone off before you drive, so you won’t be tempted to answer calls on the road.
Don't multi-task and drive. Driving is complicated enough -- you’ll become distracted if you do other things, too. Don’t use the vehicle’s mirrors for personal grooming when the vehicle is in motion. Don’t try to read or write while you’re behind the wheel. Just drive.
Pull over to care for children. Change the baby, feed the kids, and buckle them into their vehicle seats before you leave. If you need to attend to them, pull over in a safe place -- don’t try to handle children while Adjust seat positions, climate controls, sound systems, you’re driving.
Please help us stop distracted driving!!!
For more information please contact
Deputy Alex Wesley
School Threats Are No Joke
In 2020 a new awareness campaign aimed at addressing school threats made by students in Kentucky. The “It’s No Joke” campaign aims to dissuade youth from making school threats because doing so can lead to being arrested and charged with a felony.
Here at the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, we take any and all threats made to our schools seriously. The safety of our students and school staff is our number one priority. If you have information regarding a possible school threat, please call 9-1-1 immediately.