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My First Conversation With Children About Drugs

My dad dying of a drug overdose changed my life obviously. I guess I was lucky they never figured out the whole “cooking with meth in our basement” thing, but I dunno. Does it also mean I never really got the care I needed afterward either?

No one ever talked to me about drugs or drug abuse, and I was left to piece it all together afterward. Each revelation made the good memories of my dad a bit harder to bear.

Meth is what is considered a recreational drug, and there is no legal use for it, so people just use it to get high and over time that causes addiction. I mentioned in my first post about myself that I have a husband and two young kids now, and I never wanted them to be confused when it comes to drugs.

Too often we sweep the all-important drug conversation under the rug when we should be open about it as a family. No one ever took the time to explain anything to me, and finding out on my own was difficult. I should never have been put in that situation at all.

My first conversation with my children about drugs occurred when they were twelve and thirteen, respectively. This was the time in their life where even if they were still young, other kids were ahead of the game, and they needed to be able to understand things.

I explained the recreational drug use definition: that drugs are used to alter your state of mind to achieve a high, which are usually side effects associated with using the drug. It can change what the user sees, feels, or even just experiences. These can be addictive and cause people to need to use them over time.

Explaining addiction to my kids wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, believe it or not. I told them that it’s like on Halloween, how you have all this candy and you know you shouldn’t eat it all at once but you can’t stop, even once your stomach starts hurting.

With drugs like meth, the harm they do is quite obvious and can appear quickly. But you can’t stop. You want that sugar rush, that last bit of candy. They definitely understood that feeling. I told them it is ten times worse than that and can make you sick or even lead to death. Like with my dad.

Drug overdose brain damage is a common end for people who use drugs. Even if they don’t necessarily die from the overdose itself, they might lose oxygen to their brain for too long a time and cause permanent brain damage. Then they are effectively dead.

My kids certainly thought it was scary, but it wasn’t about scaring them. It was about educating them on what drugs are and what they can do. They know not to do them and can make their own inferences and decisions regarding it.

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