Parents urged to speak to kids about dangers of drug use
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - As school quickly approaches, the Drug Enforcement Administration is pushing parents to have a conversation with their children about the dangers of drug use.
Justin King, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Omaha Division, said that they’ve seen entities target younger and younger children to create life-long customers. Exposure to drug use is getting more prominent as the world gets more connected.
According to the DEA, a major concern that has been culminating is fake pills. The CDC reported more than 108,000 overdose deaths in a 12-month span and according to DEA lab test results four out of every 10 pills with fentanyl contain a lethal dose.
“I think parents and what people need to understand is the potential for exposure is so much greater, so having these conversations as early as you can and finding ways to talk to your children but also listen to your children and hear the challenges they have, because peer pressure is a big thing and they need to understand that,” said King.
King mentions that it can’t just be the DEA pushing out this message, but asks parents, schools, churches and everyone else to help toward the education on drugs for our youth.
One resource for conversation and education is the Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addictions. They provide a wide variety of resources and tools for individuals or individuals with family members that are suffering with addiction. They also host education and prevention programs for the youth from seven years old to teenagers. This nonprofit specializes in helping children understand what drugs are and hw to have that conversation.
The executive director of the council, Connie Holmes, said that these conversations between parent and child are extremely important because usually the parent is the child’s number one influence.
“It’s really just about letting them know that you care. As a parent, I want to know what’s going on in your life and making that connection with them. And making sure that line of communication is open. And if you don’t have all the answers as a parent that’s okay too. You can reach out to us you can reach out to other folks, reach out to the school counselors and find out. Just ask those questions,” said Holmes.
Holmes stated that these conversations don’t need to be lengthy. It could be short tidbits just to get that line of communication open.
Holmes also said that if young people don’t learn about drugs, alcohol and tobacco from adults that care and know, they will learn it from the internet, movies, TV and social media.
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