Some people believe it is not appropriate to talk to a child about addiction; others feel that it is truly necessary to discuss it. The most common questions and concerns are:
As a former Guidance Counselor, I used to speak to children aged five and older about the dangers of pills. For instance, if a child came across something foreign on the floor, what should he or she do? Prescription and over-the-counter pills can often look like candy and that can be very attractive to children. It was an effective way to begin talking about the idea that some people take medication because they need it, but it is not okay to take something that you found and/or wasn’t give to you by a parent or caregiver. Furthermore, it is not healthy to eat anything found on the floor. We could then begin a discussion about doctors’ prescriptions and reasons for taking medication; illness, medical conditions, accidents, pain, etc., and why it is not okay to take pills or medications that were not prescribed by a physician for you.
A recent article gives seven specific tips on how a parent should talk with a child about the dangers of prescription drugs and other opiates. The main point of the article is that it is absolutely necessary to have conversations with children about the dangers of illegal drugs. Moreover, the article points out specific ways a parent can approach this topic which have been shown to be successful. When parents ignore or avoid talking about the dangers of drug use it really can create a serious situation. It is imperative that we be proactive in teaching our kids how to be safe. We talk about the dangers of crossing a street so why not have the conversation about the drugs which can also cause death.