The Kent County Health Department has received permission from the Metropolitan Drug Commission in Knoxville, TN to utilize the resources on its website metrodrug.org. KCHD appreciates all of the work done by the Metropolitan Drug Commission and their willingness to share this information to educate the Kent County community on substance abuse issues.
The links below will take the user to the metrodrug.org website for additional information on the substances listed.
The "tween" and teen years can be a difficult time for many kids. It may be hard for you as a parent to tell the difference between typical adolescent behavior and symptoms of drug use. If your child consistently exhibits the following warning signs, it could be that your child is taking drugs:
She's withdrawn, depressed, tired, or careless about her personal grooming.
He's hostile, uncooperative, and frequently breaks curfews.
Her relationships with family members have deteriorated.
He's hanging around with a new group of friends.
Her grades have slipped, and her school attendance is irregular.
He's lost interest in hobbies, sports, and other favorite activities.
Her eating and sleeping patterns have changed; she's up at night and sleeps during the day.
He has a hard time concentrating.
Her eyes are red-rimmed and her nose is runny - but she doesn't have allergies or a cold.
Household money has been disappearing.
You have found any of the following in your home: pipes, rolling papers, small medicine bottles, eye drops, butane lighters, homemade pipes, or bongs (pipes that use water as a filter) made from soda cans or plastic beverage containers.
Some of these indicators can be caused by emotional problems or physical illness. Discuss the possibility with your child's doctor and, if necessary, take him in for a physical exam. If illness is not the problem, it's time to choose a course of action.
Establish "together time." Establish a regular weekly routine for doing something special with your child - even something as simple as going out for ice cream.
Don't be afraid to ask where your kids are going, who they'll be with and what they'll be doing. Get to know your kid's friends - and their parents - so you're familiar with their activities.
Try to be there after school when your child gets home. The "danger zone" for drug use is between 4-6 pm, when no one's around; arrange for adult supervision if you are not able to be there.
Eat together as often as you can. Meals are a great opportunity to talk about the day's events, to unwind, reinforce, bond. Studies show that kids whose families eat together at least 5 times a week are less likely to be involved with drugs or alcohol.
Be absolutely clear with your kids that you don't want them using drugs. Ever. Anywhere. Don't leave room for interpretation. And talk often about the dangers and results of drug and alcohol abuse. Once or twice a year is not enough.
Be a better listener. Ask questions - and encourage them. Paraphrase what your child says to you. Ask for his or her input about family decisions. Showing your willingness to listen will make your child feel more comfortable about opening up to you.
Give honest answers. Don't make up what you don't know; offer to find out. If asked whether you've ever taken drugs, let them know what's important; that you don't want them using drugs.
Use TV reports, anti-drug commercials, news or school discussions about drugs to help you introduce the subject in a natural, unforced way.
Don't react in a way that will cut off further discussion. If your child makes statements that challenge or shock you, turn those statements into a calm discussion of why your child thinks people use drugs, or whether the effect is worth the risk.
Role play with your child and practice ways to refuse drugs and alcohol in different situations. Acknowledge how tough these moments can be.
Be a living, day-to-day example of your value system. Show the compassion, honesty, generosity and openness you want your child to have.
Know that there is no such thing as "do as I say, not as I do" when it comes to drugs. If you take drugs, you can't expect your child to take your advice. Seek professional help if necessary.
Examine your own behavior. If you abuse drugs or alcohol, know that your kids are inevitable going to pick up on it. Or if you laugh uproariously at a movie when someone is drunk or stoned, what message does that send to a child?
Create rules - and discuss in advance the consequences of breaking them. Make your expectations clear. Don't make empty threats or let the rule-breaker off the hook. Don't impose harsh or unexpected new punishments.
Set a curfew. And enforce it strictly. Be prepared to negotiate for special occasions.
Have kids chick in at regular times. Give them a phone card, change or even a pager, with clear rules for using it.
Call parents whose home is to be used for a party. On party night, don't be afraid to stop in to say hello (and make sure that adult supervision is in place).
Make it easy for your child to leave a party where drugs are being used. Discuss in advance how you or another designated adult will come to pick your child up the moment he or she feels uncomfortable. Later, be prepared to talk about what happened.
Listen to your instincts. Don't be afraid to intervene if your gut reaction tells you that something is wrong.
Reward good behavior consistently and immediately. Expressions of love, appreciation and thanks go a long way. Even kids who think themselves too old for hugs will appreciate a word of thanks or congratulations.
Accentuate the positive. Emphasize the things your kid does right. Restrain the urge to be critical. Affection and respect - making your child feel good about himself - will reinforce good (and change bad) behavior far more successfully than embarrassment or uneasiness.
Unused medicines must be disposed of properly. Is it safe to flush them down the toilet or should they be thrown in the trash? Click HERE to find out how to properly dispose of old or unused prescriptions. For additional information and a list of local drug take back locations visit: www.wmtakebackmeds.org.
|Too Smart To Start Start
(for the prevention of underage drinking and its related problems)
|NIDA for Teens
(The Science Behind Drug Abuse)
|Information for parents on
preventing substance abuse
|Contains many materials for parents on
preventing substance abuse in children
|Contains materials addressing the recent
trend among young people who are taking
large amounts of over-the-counter cough medicines
|Resources for stopping cough medicine abuse||www.fivemoms.com|
|Research, education, and resources on
the benefits of eating dinner with your family
|Created for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
(a program of the National Drug Control Policy)
reflecting what teens across the country say is going on in their lives
|Office of National Drug Control Policy
featuring White House drug policy
initiatives, programs and resources
|Addiction411 - Information on Prescription
Drug Abuse and Addiction
700 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Mark Hall, MD, MPH
Adam London, RS, MPA
Administrative Health Officer
740 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Closed for Lunch:
Adoptions end 1 hour prior to closing.
Closed Saturday & Sunday
700 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503