We know that we have a profound problem with our teenagers using drugs in this country. We also know that parents play a key role in identifying and helping kids recover from addiction. It's important for parents to know who their kids are hanging out with and who their kids friends are. It's important to know who they're hanging out with, not just in school and in the neighborhood, but also line.
It's also important that parents to set consequences for their kids drug use and have a zero tolerance policy in their house. It's not acceptable for underage kids to be using drugs or consuming alcohol.
It's also important that parents be able to talk to their kids about what's happening in the world around them. If we turn on any of the popular TV shows that our kids love, we see underage kids having a lot of sex and taking a lot of drugs. Parents need to be able to talk to their kids about what's going on in those shows in a constructive way, not in a judgemental way, but in a way that they can understand where their kids are coming from.
Their kids may think that's a great idea and that's what they need to do in order to be successful in the world. Parents need to then be able to engage their kids on that level and be able to say, 'Well, this is how it appears on TV, but in reality we know that these are the consequences.'
On the other hand we have some real positive role models of celebrities who have had problems with addictions and who have gone and sought help and gotten help and recovered. We should also be talking to our kids about these particular celebrities who have embraced recovery and who have successful lives and successful careers because of their recovery.