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Showing posts from April, 2015

"What do you say to explain your choice not to drink alcohol?": A problem facing a growing number of young people

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Going back to going to schools this week (after almost 10 days of absolutely no presenting - I didn't know what hit me!) was made so much easier due to the wonderful young women I got to meet. I was at two girls' schools in Melbourne and both were great. As always there were a wide variety of experiences in the room when it came to alcohol - at each of the sessions you could easily spot (as much as I say to the students that I don't want to know what they're doing and to use their best 'poker faces', they simply can't help themselves and give themselves away very quickly) those groups of girls who were heavily into the party scene, with alcohol obviously being very important when they socialise, but at the same time you can also see those girls who simply have no interest in alcohol whatsoever (and of course, there are all those in-between who may occasionally dabble but don't drink very much if they do).

But there was one girl yesterday who really bro…

"They're all on ice!": Is it really being used by everyone, everywhere and the 'root of all evil'?

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Earlier this week Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched a new task force aimed at tackling "the growing scourge of ice," and was quoted as saying that "it's far more potent, far more dangerous, far more addictive than any previous illicit drug." He then went onto state that "... this is a drug epidemic way beyond anything that we have seen before."

Now I'm not going to dispute that methamphetamine is a serious issue in this country (I have already written a number of blogs on the topic including one earlier this year discussing a Herald Sun story called 'Ice Hits Schools' and another attempting to explain why this drug is so problematic) but we are now moving into a ridiculous situation which is bordering on moral panic!

We've seen the tabloid press go into overdrive on this issue. We've seen stories about footballers in regional Victoria using ice to "feel like Superman as they run out onto the field", "dealers giving…

Your teen has admitted using drugs and isn't going to stop: What do you do?

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Earlier this year I wrote a blog entry discussing the issues around asking your child if they have taken drugs and they say 'no' - what do you do then? It was based around a story of a mother who had recently lost her son (apparently due to a drug overdose) and the fact that she had asked all the right questions around whether he was experimenting with drugs or not but he simply hadn't been honest. She called on other parents to keep having this difficult conversation "in a really non-threatening way so they feel like they don't have to lie."

As I said before, if you're going to ask questions about possible drug use there is usually a reason. If that's the case, you've got to be prepared for one of two answers. All is fine if they say they haven't taken drugs, but what if they turnaround and tell you they are? How should a parent best respond to that situation, particularly if they make it very clear that they're not going to stop?

Since …

What do you do if you find out your child is using drugs?

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Discovering that your child is experimenting with illicit drugs is every parent's worst fear. No matter what their attitude towards drugs, I have yet to meet a parent who is not, at the very least, extremely distressed when they find themselves in this situation. No matter how you may have prepared yourself (and to be quite honest, I doubt whether any parent spends too long thinking about such a possibility), it is always going to evoke a whole pile of emotions. Disappointment, anger and, of course, fear are most going to be bubbling to the surface and many parents are also going to start blaming themselves in some way.

Recently I was contacted by a mother who had just discovered that her son has been using cannabis. She explained the situation she found herself in and wrote "I am at a loss and not sure what to do or how to approach this, I am yet to confront him about it."
The most important thing to do is also the most difficult – don't overreact! Before you respond…