South Florida communities such as Fort Myers and Cape Coral are known as welcoming places to live and raise families. According to a report from the Sun Sentinel, though, there may be another reputation threatening to take over: an opioid epidemic that is claiming the lives of hundreds in the area.
Many of these victims are youth, and it is the responsibility of all parents to ensure their teens know of the dangers drugs pose.
Initiate a dialogue
Many parents mistakenly assume their kids will not be willing to talk to them about topics such as drugs or relationships. When you actually venture to initiate a dialogue, it may surprise you to find that your kids are not only willing to talk --they want to. Starting a dialogue about drugs is the most important step to keeping your teens away from them.
Talking to your teen is not the only responsibility you have as a parent. It is a start, but the key is to get involved and stay involved. This means that the drug discussion should never be a one-time thing. Rather, it should be part of an ongoing dialogue that encompasses a range of topics. Make an effort to get to know your teen's friends and teachers, for example.
Sometimes when you initiate a discussion or get acquainted with your teen's friends, you will become aware of details that you might not approve of. Perhaps your kid has already tried drugs, or maybe he or she has friends who do so regularly. It is important to handle such revelations carefully and reserve judgment. It is usually a positive sign that your teen would divulge such details, so rather than rushing to panic, consider how to best reroute his or her behavior.
Even the best parents have teens who make mistakes. Unfortuantely, when these mistakes involve drugs, the consequences can be steep criminal charges. You may not be able to stop this from happening, but you always have the option to seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can take the necessary steps to prevent a conviction that could jeopardize your teens future plans.