An Alberta doctor believes having a talk about drugs early in a child’s life will help them make better choices when they are older.
Dr. Troy Janzen is a clinical supervisor at the University of Alberta and he believes having a talk with children about drugs as early as possible is the best approach.
“Obviously the way you’re talking about it at very young ages might be very different than you’d talk to a teen about it, but I do think that the younger you start being able to talk about things that a child can be exposed to the better. It can help prepare them for some of the realities that we often don’t think are going to happen,” said Dr. Janzen on the Alberta Morning News.
He thinks parents need to educate children about the risks of using drugs.
“They know that sometimes you get drugs that are medicines that they can put in their bodies, but do they know anything about other kinds of drugs? Have they heard anything about it? I think that you can kind of find out from them if they’ve heard from anything and that can begin the opening of dialogue that sometimes people will use drugs that aren’t as good for your body and we just need to be aware that we need to put good things in our body.”
While Dr. Janzen said some parents may get emotional when talking to children or teens if drugs are already in the picture, he thinks it’s natural to feel that way, but it’s important to explain the feelings.
“We get angry, we get upset, and it can sometimes shut down communication. Even though it’s a normal human parental response it can sometimes shut the communication down. I found that instead, if I communicate clearly that, ‘I’m getting upset because I’m so afraid for you that what might happen if you make a choice like this because I know some things about the risks that you might not be aware of,’.”