Recent headlines in the health science world indicate that drug abuse among our nations teens is not going away. An annual survey called “Monitoring the Future” reported high use of marijuana by 8th, 10th and 12th graders across the country. This 2012 survey showed that 6.5% of high school seniors smoke marijuana, which is up from 5.1% five years ago. The survey goes on to point out that when interviewed many teens perceive marijuana use as relatively harmless and as they get older, the perception of risk diminishes. One has to wonder if the recent laws legalizing the drug in 2 states have anything to do with this attitude.
The second most abused drug among teens today is prescription painkillers. This is attributed to the way that doctors deal with pain these days. Pain relievers are now dispensed at a higher level than ever. So, there are 10 times more 12 to 17 year olds abusing prescription painkillers than there were in the 1960’s. The availability in many parents’ medicine cabinets makes it easy for adolescents to skim off the top.
Many parents just don’t realize how serious a problem this is. Even if it’s not your own kids you need to worry about, your children’s friends can take advantage of your unsecured prescription medicine. Parents should take notice and count how many pills are in containers. Put these prescriptions in places that are not easily accessible to your kids or houseguests. Get past the feeling that you are being paranoid; this is the world we are living in.
Most importantly, have the conversation with your teen about drug use and abuse. Studies continue to show that a line of open communication and parent involvement in their children’s lives are the most successful ways of avoiding the problem. Early education is vital and also a key to prevention. Most school districts across the country have local police enforcement come in to talk to kids about drug and alcohol use as early as the 5th grade. Don’t let the conversation stop there. Middle school is a perfect time to enroll your child in an educational online drug and alcohol awareness class.
Giving your child the gift of alcohol and drug education in a proactive manner is a loving approach to averting the problem. Or, if your child has already made a mistake and has been caught for a minor in possession offense, he will most likely be court mandated to take a course to help prevent future use. These classes are highly effective and teach minors all about the risk factors of alcohol and drug abuse and how easy it is to fall into a cycle of dependency once you start. All of the specific health risks are laid out; especially how these substances affect the brain, central nervous system and organs in the body. Teenagers are further equipped with healthier techniques to deal with stress and how to communicate effectively with others to avoid peer pressure on the subject.
If you are sold on offering this tool to your teenager, then the next step is to take them online. The only reason that anyone needs to drive across town to take a traditional in-person class is if the class is court mandated and the judge won’t accept a distance learning class. Otherwise, make your life easier and simply enroll in an 8-hour MIP class today. Taking the class online enables your child to sit in the comfort of your own home and take the class from any Internet based computer device. Teenagers today are particularly attuned to learning in this manner and enjoy it. Once you enroll, the class is available online 24/7, so it can be taken by your teen whenever he or she has time. There is a multiple-choice final exam at the end of the course. For those with a court mandate, a 70% or better is a passing grade. An official Certificate of Completion is then mailed out to you to present to your court system. This proves the requirement was successfully completed. Online classes are interesting, educational and easy to use. Have your teen take one over the holiday break so they are prepared with the facts of why to avoid alcohol and drugs in the New Year!