What young people state as reasons for consuming illegal drugs and how you can respond?

“Someone has tried, so I thought that I might as well”

Show your concern and question their decision. Ask them if drugs have fulfilled their expectations, and talk with them about risk they are exposed if they continue to consume drugs. Try to find out if they were forced to try and explain them what they can do in such situation, to whom they can refer – what can help them in future to face similar situation.

“I have always wanted to try drugs”

Ask them why this particular drug seemed attractive, and what they expected to achieve consuming that drug. Questions such are: “What you thought, how it would be?” and “Why this exact drug?” can give some results. Maybe you will need to talk about their experience with other drugs, and if they have consumed other you should tell them that you are concerned about their behavior, and try to set up rules of behavior.

“All my friends have tried so I thought … why not?”

Make clear your attitude towards drug addiction and explain them why you do not want them to get involved in this. Ask them if they thought that it is safe to use drugs only because their friends used them. Explain them individual differences that exist in reactions on different kinds of drug. Ask them why their friends have used drugs and if they know the reasons which are common for starting using drugs. Discuss about dangers that might occur while experimenting with drugs. Maybe it will be useful to discuss how important it is to be responsible for making own decisions and not just following friends.

“I felt good after consuming”

Try to find out the reason why it started consuming in first pace. Get to know how they felt. This is good time to offer help and test situation in order to se if you can do anything for them, or find out if they want to discuss about some other problem that is bothering them. Discuss about feeling good without getting so exposed to risk. Offer them constructive alternative solutions.

“All my school, family and life problems have disappeared”

This statement is giving you chance to face other problems that your child is having. Let them know that even if they have problems you would still want to speak with them. Ask them what you can do to improve things. Talk about problems and if they returned after effect of consuming drugs have expired. State clearly your feelings related to dangers that follow drug consumption. Let it be clear that you want to work together with them on finding better way for dealing with problems that are bothering them.

“It gave me more confidence”

Let them know that you are concerned and explain them that they do not need drugs to feel good. Share with them your experiences when it was difficult to fit in with friends, and explain them what helped you to get more confidence. Those could be positive and negative experiences. Talking about personal experiences you will get more credibility. Consider ways that might build and improve self-confidence of your child.

“You used drugs as well”

You should be prepared for this statement if this is directly related to you. You should be fair and open with your child. Confess about dangers of illegal drugs, and that you would make different decision now, and that you do not want them to make same mistake. You are important as role model.

Why, when and warning signs

Why do young people try drugs?

Spread opinion is that young people consume drugs when they have problems at home or in school. Nevertheless, there are many different reasons:

  • Accessibility of drugs and tolerant attitude or attitude of ignoring them;
  • Curiosity;
  • Fun;
  • Wish to be accepted from peers;
  • Rebellious;
  • Depression;
  • Need for relaxation;
  • Need to overcome stress, boredom or pain and suffering;
  • Need to experience peek of excitement or sudden excitement;

When are young people trying drugs?

There are no strict rules on when young people start trying different sorts of drugs. Nevertheless, general trends are showing that consumption starts from early to middle teenage, while experimenting with drugs like ecstasy and amphetamines is usually starting from middle to late teenage. Adolescent period is critical, but…

Do not forget that many young people will never use drugs, and that some of them will try them in even earlier age.