Changing the Conversation
Our feature story, “Keeping Them Safe” is part of the campaign on family awareness through the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. It’s no secret drugs are stealing the lives of young people every day. Switch on any news channel and horrifying stories are filling the airwaves. There are solutions, beginning with opening the doors of conversation.
The stigma attached to drug and alcohol abuse is still a factor deterring many from discussing the problem. Think of it this way — if opening up and talking about it meant not having to lose a child, neighbor or friend— isn’t that conversation worth everything meaningful in the world?
Of course springing a serious conversation on your kids may make them feel ambushed and defensive. Give them a heads up before hand and make sure to be clear about what the conversation will entail, so everyone in the family can be on the same page.
“Tomorrow night let’s have a talk about drinking and drugs. You’re not in trouble. I just want to talk about where we stand and hear any concerns you might be having.”
I personally recommend every parent visit www.SubstanceAbuse.az.gov. This informative website provides a locator for anyone seeking help with prevention, treatment and recovery resources. By clicking on the Prevention, Treatment or Recovery box at the top of the site, and providing an Arizona zip code, where users can find numerous state agencies and non-profits that can assist with their specific needs.