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What Parents Should Know

The following is from www.jointogether.org


   Here are some of the common reasons why kids use marijuana and other drugs and some things you can do to counteract these reasons.
   You can copy and distribute this sheet to parents, teachers and other adults who work with children to let them know some of the reason's kids use marijuana and how to counteract some these reasons. You can also ask businesses to share this information with employees and customers and you can post it at religious centers, grocery stores and health care facilities.
   Kids use marijuana to feel grown up.
   Children like to imitate adults. This imitation takes on many forms as they grow, including wearing their parents' clothes, copying the way that they speak, and imitating some of their behaviors. This is because they think that being grown up is a very desirable thing. Grownups have the freedom to say and do anything they want. They can also eat and drink anything they want.
   The counteraction you can take: Let your children grow up.
   The harder you try to rein them in, the harder your children may rebel. In most cases, when you let your children have increasing amounts of independence when they prove they can handle it, they are less likely to turn to alcohol and drugs. You can also be a good role model for your children, point out examples of irresponsible drinking and drug use. Use these incidences as a starting point for constructive dialogue around these issues.
   Kids use marijuana to fit in and belong.
   Children want others to like them. Sometimes the group they want to join is using alcohol or marijuana. They may feel that if they start using these drugs themselves they will fit in with the others better and become more popular and comfortable socially. Establishing a clear position with a child that alcohol and drugs are bad is not always enough to counteract all this pressure. Children must also have a range of judgment skills to help them make good decisions.
   The counteraction you can take: Help your child deal with peer pressure.
You can do this by sharing information on a variety of topics with your child and helping to establish a strong relationship early on so he or she has the skills to resist pressures from other youth and the ability to chose not to hang out with kids who use drugs. You can also help your child understand how to act appropriately in social situations and teach him or her how to build solid relationships with non-drug using friends. In addition, act as a mentor by providing support and encouragement to your child and setting aside time to spend together.
   Kids use marijuana to relax and feel good.
   There is a lot in the environment today that makes things difficult for kids today. These things include increased violence and gangs, economic pressures, HIV and AIDS, changing family structures and easy access to alcohol, drugs and tobacco. These factors may contribute to the upswing in substance abuse among young people. Some of them think that using drugs will help them forget about their problems.
   The counteraction you can take: Help reduce stress in your child's life
   Allow your child to express his or her feelings and concerns. Let the child also know that you, too, experience pain, fear, anger and nervousness and that these are normal feelings. Help him or her to express these feelings, without having to resort to violence. You can also teach your child some relaxation exercises like deep breathing or sitting quietly for 10 to 20 minutes.

Article concerning 'Crack' by Leo Knight

Article concerning Canada and Lax Laws from The National Post

An Edmonton Story

Enough is Enough; Drugs in School Canadian Press

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Resources If you would like to get more information on marijuana and other drug use, you might want to contact the following organizations:

Visit the Parenting IS Prevention Project site to learn more about how important parents are in setting their children on a drug-free path.

National Drug Information Center of National Families in Action
2296 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 300 Atlanta, GA 30345-2739
Marijuana Anonymous
P.O. Box 2912Van Nuys, CA 91404
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol andDrug Information (NCADI)
P.O. Box 2345Rockville, MD 20847-2345
National Council on Alcoholism and DrugDependence, Inc. (NCADD)
12 West 21st, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010
National Crime Prevention Council
1700 K Street N.W., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20006-3817
"Just Say No" International
2000 Franklin Street, Suite 400, Oakland, CA 94612
National Family Partnership
9320 SW Barbur Boulevard, Suite 340Portland, OR 97219
National PTA Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Project
330 North Wabash Ave., Suite 2100Chicago, IL 60611-3690
National Head Start Association
1651 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Partnership for a Drug Free America
Drug Free Resource Net is the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's web site that includes a large drug information database, prevention strategies for parents, and more.

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