Top Misconceptions About Drug Use in Teens
Misconception: If I drug test my kids, it means the trust is broken.
Truth: Trust, but verify. Your kids let you know what their grades will be, but you still need to see the report card.
Misconception: I can’t afford a home drug test.
Truth: A recovery program can cost as much as $1,000 a day. Once the door is opened, it is a challenge for the rest of your life. Prevention is much less costly (in terms of time, money, and heartache) than intervention.
Misconception: My kids wouldn’t do drugs. I’ve talked to them about it.
Truth: A CASAColumbia survey asked parents if their kids would use drugs to cope with stress. Only seven percent of parents believed their children would. When their kids were surveyed, 73 percent said that coping with school pressure and stress was their main motivation for drug use. (Related blog post)
Misconception: My kid gets good grades, plays sports, and goes to church. I don’t need to worry.
Truth: It is typically two years before parents realize that their kids use drugs. Many are able to continue their activities for that length of time without showing signs of a problem.
Misconception: I smoked pot and I’m fine. Marijuana isn’t a big deal.
Truth: The THC content of marijuana in the 1970’s was about three percent. Today, THC content can exceed 25 percent or more. Numerous studies have linked marijuana and impaired brain development in adolescents. (1, 2, 3)
Misconception: My child isn’t rebellious. Only rebellious kids use drugs.
Truth: While many kids who used drugs in the 1960’s and 1970’s represented a culture of rebellion, things are different today. Now, stress, peer pressure, the desire to fit in, and the desire to elevate social status are the most common reasons why kids begin using drugs.