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Where To Start

Tell your child about how drugs are harmful to everyone, especially young people whose bodies and minds are still growing. Drug abuse will lead to impaired school performance and motor skills. Children who use drugs often lose friends and interest in school. They could have trouble paying attention in class and become unable to remember what is taught.

Tell your child that you do not find drug use acceptable. Establish appropriate consequences. Many children say they have never heard their parents state this principle. Also, tell them drug abuse is against the law.

Praise your child. Tell your child what good qualities he or she possesses. Be specific. Let him or her know that drug abuse can cover up or destroy those fine traits.

Show your child some drug-free alternatives. Parties, picnics, and family outings do not have to include drugs.

Teach your child to say no! Tell your child what behavior you expect in certain situations. Let your child know that you believe in and trust him or her to do what is right! [1]


  • Keep medications in their original containers to prevent the wrong medication being taken by mistake.

  • Make sure medications are kept in child-resistant containers. Keep medications out of the reach of children. Remember that the term child-resistant does not necessarily mean childproof.

  • Avoid taking medications in front of small children. Small children may want to imitate your actions and take the same medication.

  • Do not tell children that medicine is candy.

  • Read and follow the instructions and warnings on all medications.

  • Talk to a doctor or pharmacist about all medications, vitamins, herbal products, and supplements you are taking. Some dangerous interactions may occur among different medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

  • Avoid mixing medications with alcohol because of possible dangerous interactions.

  • Discard old and outdated medicines correctly by returning them to your pharmacy, doctor's office, or other location approved for disposal of expired or unused medication. Your pharmacist can give you further directions on the safe disposal of medications. Flushing medications down the toilet is not recommended since these may contaminate the water supply. [2]

Vanilla Extract, Mouthwash, And Perfume

Household products that contain ethanol are a common cause of poisoning in children and teens. Whether young people drink them accidentally, on a dare, out of curiosity, or with the intention to get high, ingesting these products can cause alcohol poisoning. Vanilla extract, for example, contains about 35 percent ethanol by volume, which is roughly the amount of alcohol by volume present in many distilled beverages, such as rum or brandy. Mouthwash may contain 22 percent alcohol by volume. Other food flavorings, including lemon extract and almond extract, also contain alcohol, and it is even possible to get high by snorting nutmeg.

Teens often learn about strange new ways to get high over the internet or social media, but they fail to understand the potential consequences of these activities. Snorting nutmeg, for instance, can cause hallucinations, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart problems. [3]

What can you do?

CONFRONTATION. But never while the child is under the influence. Wait until they are feeling the after-effects of their high (a hang-over). They will be much more open to an offer of help.

DISCUSSION. Be objective, calm about your suspicions. Shouting and accusing only cause your child to tune out.

COMMUNICATION. Listen. Important. The abusing child is under the influence of something stronger than they are. Address the subject of peer pressure.

RESPONSIBILITY. Children must be made to understand they are responsible for their actions while under the influence. (Example: if they wreck the car they must pay for repairs.)

FACE IT. Admit that your child has a problem. Get help immediately.

TAKE CHARGE. Try not to fly off the handle. Ranting and raving can cause a retreat to drugs.

BE A ROCK. Your kids are not lacking in character or backbone – they are out of control. Your child is not the person you once knew. Understanding and firm assistance are needed now more than ever. [4]


[1] Drug Use Is Life Abuse Editorial Staff. "How to Save Money on a Low Income." Drug Use Is Life Abuse,30 June 2021,

[2] Conrad Stoppler, Melissa. "Poison Proofing Your Home." Medicine Health, 30 June 2021,

[3] UCLA Editorial Staff. "Is Your Home Addiction Proof." UCLA, 30 June 2021,

[4] Drug Use Is Life Abuse Editorial Staff. "How to Save Money on a Low Income." Drug Use Is Life Abuse,30 June 2021,


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