My son is turning 13, and the one thing I worry most about is drugs. What have you learned as a parent?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: In our community, there’s a wonderful program of parenting seminars organized by the Greater West Bloomfield Community Coalition for Youth . They’re held at our local library, and my husband and I have attended many of them over the years. I highly recommend them. One was on preparing for college, and another was on how to keep your children safe on the Internet.
But one of the most recent was about how to look at a child’s room and know if he or she is using drugs. IKEA donated furniture, and they set up a meeting room in the library to look like a kid’s bedroom. Our local police department hid drug paraphernalia in the room. The police had obtained the paraphernalia from drug raids. Then the parents looked through the room to see how many items they could spot. There were toilet paper rolls that can be used to make pipes and soda cans with secret compartments to store things. It was helpful for me to see these types of everyday items that could be used for drugs.
I think that these types of organization are located around the country, and they’re great for parents to get involved in.
If you find that your teen is abusing drugs, the next step is to check out rehab clinics like Narconon drug rehabilitation.
—Susan Sherman, MD, a mom of three and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit