- We are with you
We Are With You has produced this accessible factsheet and activities. It will help to open up discussions with your young people around the effects of cannabis and how it can affect our brains and bodies.
It is important to link children’s learning at school and among peers to their life at home. It is recommended you speak to your son/daughter about drugs and legal highs and about the impact it can have on their life.
This is also an opportunity to set boundaries and give reassurance that they can speak to you if they ever find themselves affected by drugs.
Why young people might try dugs?
It is common for young people to try smoking, drinking alcohol and drugs. It is part of ‘pushing boundaries’ and ‘risk taking behaviour’ associated with growing up. It does not mean every child who tries drugs will become addicted or involved in crime. However, it is important that you do not ignore the risks, or excuse it as their child ‘just having fun or experimenting’.
Research by the Royal College of Psychiatrists show up to half of young people will have tried an illegal drug before they are 16 years old. The likelihood increases if their friends or family use them.
Young people try or use drugs for various reasons including:-
- peer pressure
- to cope with difficult situations
- worry and/or
- low mood
Another risk to young people becoming involved in drugs is criminal exploitation. Organised drug gangs will travel into counties from major cities to ‘recruit’ children to sell drugs and move money for them. They entice them with a ‘lucrative lifestyle’ of money and expensive possessions. This issue is known as County Lines.
Research shows that young people, who develop issues with drugs, the involvement and support of parents and families can make a big difference to their ability to deal with the problem.
It is important your young person knows the facts in order to help them develop the skills needed to assess risky situations and keep themselves safe. Be open with your young person allowing them to talk things through. Encourage them to be aware and responsible to pressures associated with drug use to promote a positive, safe attitude and resilience.
Work together through the two scenario stories to help your young person consider:
- consequences of their actions
- effects on mental health
- dealing with emotions
For futher information visit the we are with you website.
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