Child Health, Your Health Seth Stratton | 5 years ago

Where Do Teens Find Drugs? Sometimes, Right Under Your Nose

Clever and resourceful. Two words often used to describe pre-teens, teens and adolescents. Any parent will tell you those traits can lead a child, on the best day, to harmless mischief and, on the worst, to real danger.

Combined with a teen’s heightened sense of invincibility, that resourcefulness often leads to experimenting with drugs. Sometimes just being aware of the ways in which kids are exposed to or may access drugs is the best first step in helping to prevent drug abuse.

Online and Under the Radar

With easy access to the internet, teens can discretely communicate with one another about drugs, and, in many cases, they’re able to buy drugs directly online. They can pay for them with digital currency and have them shipped to a location of their choosing. Here are some tips to prevent your teen from purchasing or receiving drugs online:
  • Investigate strange activity: Look through the download folder of the computers in your home and delete any unknown browsers that may have been downloaded.
  • Check the computer history: Most sites where someone can purchase drugs use very long URLs, making them more difficult to memorize. If you see unknown websites, a quick online search can tell you what the site is about.
  • Review the mail: Have all kids and teens in the house open packages in the presence of an adult to ensure there are not drugs hidden inside of the items.
  • Search for PO boxes: Prevent teens from owning PO boxes without permission. Many online purchases are sent to a PO box to avoid drugs coming to the house.

In Your Own Medicine Cabinet or Pantry

Beware of how accessible medications are in your home – many teens can easily reach into your medicine cabinets and help themselves to prescription drugs that, when not taken as prescribed, can be dangerous. Keep a strict inventory of how many pills are in each prescription, and properly dispose of any leftovers. Everyday household items can also pose a risk (and enticement) for teens. There are recipes online for synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of street drugs, and are also very dangerous. Some of the ingredients used to make these types of synthetic drugs are in your pantry or readily available at the local convenience store. Pay attention to what items your teen is purchasing and what their intended purpose is. Ask questions!

Keep Communication Real

Having an open conversation with your teens, without being judgmental or interrogating them, will go a long way. One of the best approaches to preventing your children from falling into the trap of drugs and alcohol abuse is through awareness, education and consistent communication. A great way to spark that conversation is by sharing this article with your family or on social media using the hashtag #ThisIsSober.