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                        A Critical Component That You Must Be Aware Of

                        Providing information about the signs of drug abuse is an extremely difficult task. Why? Because with each drug comes unique signs. However, there are some things that are more general in nature that can be drawn out and highly critical for you to recognize and understand.

                        I really need to make sure that you understand just how widespread and horrible this problem is - it’s everywhere! And it is worse than ever! If you have been watching the news you are aware that there is a bad strain of heroin going around that is killing people almost instantly! I don’t care how small or large your town or city is, how quaint your village is, or the fact that you live in your beautiful little town to avoid this type of stuff for your kids - there is assuredly a drug problem! Imagine a life where the first thing you think about when you wake up is what you are going to have to do to feed your addiction and the last thing that you think about before you go to bed is the same exact thing for the following day! While there are definitely some addicts out there who are truly not good people, have no care for others, etc, I haven’t met many off them. Most are good people with a hopeless outlook on life caught in a no win battle for their lives with no where to turn for help.

                        Its a funny system we have, at least here in NH. I see people who have committed no crimes against others to feed their addiction and desperately want help, yet can’t get it. Why? Because most addicts have no insurance and the costs that treatments centers charge are affordable to few regardless of your financial status. Yet, on the other hand, there are others who commit crime-after-crime-after crime to feed their habit, get arrested over-and-over again and receive, as a part of their criminal sentence, a treatment program. And because of this court order, they are able to get into these treatment programs. So, in essence, you either have to have a lot of money, insurance, or commit crimes and hope your lucky enough to have a treatment program as a part of your sentence.

                        One more thing that I want to continue to make clear:

                        Everyone is a potential victim of drug addiction!

                        I know many people who have zero concerns about their kids getting into drugs. They think that because their kids are good, hang out with good friends, are into athletics or school programs, some may consider their kids "nerds" and exempt from the potential of becoming a victim. I can tell you that, regardless of what you think, every one of these kids are at risk. Ive seen it in many cases - very good people becoming victims. People that, when you hear they are addicted to drugs, you say "are you kidding me! I would have never thought that". Remember, drugs and "bad boys" are almost hip these days. Its the drugs and "bad boy" image that actually makes one popular.

                        I talked a bit about one particular way that drug abuse starts in my last post - with legitimate prescription drugs. Thats not always the case however. There are many different ways in which it happens. But there is one extremely critical thing that you must be deadly aware of with your kids if you are to have a good chance of keeping them away from drugs? Their friends! Typically, the downfall of a child starts with one wrong friend and I am telling you that you must be mindful of and aware of this! And remember what we teach in our Practical Personal Defense Seminar - Listen to Your Intuition! As kids grow up they typically have a circle of friends that you know well. You are completely comfortable with them because they have been in your lives, as a result of being in your kids lives, forever. They have spent the night at your home, their parents are personal friends of yours, etc. But at some point, this circle expands. It may not be your kid that brings the newcomer into the circle, it may be one of the other regulars. This is a complicated situation because its a huge web that we weave when it comes to building our social networks, which facilitates a far more rapidly expanding social network that many parents find very difficult to control and, as a result, they don’t control it.

                        Let me say this because it is critical:

                        You MUST monitor your kids social network activities - Facebook, MySpace, etc.

                        We all want to show our kids that we trust them and, as a result, may think it offensive that I recommend this. But again, I am telling you that their social network with give you a feel for what is going on with them and their friends. They don’t have to know that you are "peeping". There are many ways of doing it without them being aware of it (which is a topic for another post).

                        In following posts I will get into the specific details of the things that are indicators of drug abuse in kids or family members. In the meantime, I want to leave you with this:

                        If your kids have a drug problem and if you are paying attention, you will see and/or feel the changes in them! Your intuition will tell you that something is wrong. Listen to it and confront it! And keep in mind that addicts are very, very good liars. If you feel that there is something wrong, just watch more carefully. You will want to believe them when they say that there is nothing happening with them however, again, your intuition will tell you otherwise. If you value your child’s life and your intuition tells you something is wrong, DO NOT LET IT GO.

                        And if there is a problem there will be physical signs that accompany the things that are telling you that there may be something wrong. I will get into these things in following posts. In the meantime remember the following:

                        1. Know your kids so that if something starts to go wrong you will notice it immediately

                        2. Monitor and control their friends

                        3. Monitor and control their social networking

                        4. If your intuition tells you that something is wrong, there likely is. Deal with it, do not accept their word, and continue to watch very closely.

                        One final thing:

                        I realize that it gets more and more difficult for many parents to control their children these days and there are a variety of reasons for this (another topic for its own discussion). I am called by many parents who say they cannot control their kids at ages as young as 8-9 years old! Seriously! In the cases of calls involving older kids many parents tell us that "they just don’t know what to do anymore". In almost every one of these cases I ask if the kids have a cell phone or car and the answer is, typically, yes to either one or both. I then ask who pays for the cell phone or car and the answer is, almost always, the parents. I then ask if they have taken away the car or cell phone from the child and, amazingly, the answer is typically "no, but I am going to do that". Think about it, in this day-and-age, communication is life. Take away their means of communication and you will have a huge impact. What about a computer? Have you taken that away? X-Box? TV? Sometimes I just can’t understand how parents think. We must hold kids responsible and teach them the value of consequences for the decisions that they make, whether good, or bad.

                        Published Jan 31, 2014

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