Do you know the signs?
Signs are everywhere in our lives. We live by them so that we have more order and less chaos. When we see a red light, we know to stop; when we see a “do not enter sign,” we know the area is forbidden; and when we see ice and snow on the roads, we know that we should proceed with caution. Signs give us a sense of control which makes living a little easier.
But when it comes to our children and grandchildren, do we know the signs of drug use? Often we don’t because we take for granted that when our youth are moody or rebellious, that is just a “stage” of growing up.
So when should we be concerned about our youth? We need to be concerned everyday because our youth encounter a “toxic society” of violence and casual sex which often stems from social drug use. Being inundated with a “toxic society” through movies, music and television causes our youth to be more susceptible to these risky behaviors.
One of the most important responsibilities of our families and our community is to protect our children and youth from societal dangers. We do this by being alert to danger signs of drug use. According to Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, here are some of the signs of drug use:
• Withdrawn, tired, and careless about grooming
• Hostile and uncooperative; frequently breaks curfew
• Verbally or physically abusive
• Relationships deteriorate
• New group of friends
• Lies about activities
• Grades and school attendance slip
• Reduced memory or attention span
• Loses interest in favorite activities
• Extreme weight loss or gain
• Eating and sleeping patterns change
• Cheats, steals, always needs money or has large sums of money
• Eyes are red-rimmed and or nose is runny but has no cold.
During the last week of October look for red ribbons on school buses, business doors, churches and on school buildings. These ribbons are signs that say “we, as Henry Countians are committed to keep our children drug-free.”
So look for the signs, learn the signs and be dedicated to our children’s future by being a part of the vision and mission of the Henry County CARE Team.