Addiction Recovery

10: How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs and Alcohol

December 18, 2023 Steven T. Ginsburg Season 1 Episode 10
Addiction Recovery
10: How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs and Alcohol
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join us for an insightful discussion on addressing the sensitive topic of drugs and alcohol with your children. Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers, will guide us through this complex issue. We'll explore common challenges parents face when broaching this subject and debunk the misconception that our children are immune to its impact. Discover the ideal time to initiate these conversations, preferably during middle school, and gain strategies for educating children about the risks of substance abuse without arousing curiosity.

As guardians, it's crucial to protect our children from the perils of addiction. Drawing from personal experiences, we'll delve into the importance of openness, attentiveness, and being present as parents.  Throughout our conversation, we'll highlight additional resources available on our website to provide further support. Let's take action together and stand against substance abuse for the well-being of our children.

Helpful Links:
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery:  1-800-982-5530

DISCLAIMER:

Welcome to the Addiction Recovery podcast, brought to you by Restore Detox Centers. We are dedicated to providing valuable and insightful information on addiction recovery. However, it is essential to understand that the content shared in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for individual circumstances. The topics discussed in this podcast are based on general knowledge and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice or treatment.

It is important to note that the views and opinions expressed by the podcast hosts, guests, or contributors are their own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Restore Detox Centers. We strongly advise listeners to consult with qualified professionals, such as addiction counselors, therapists, or medical practitioners, before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this podcast. Please be aware that listening to this podcast does not establish a client-provider relationship with Restore Detox Centers.

Steve Coughran:

This is the addiction recovery podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Everyone. We're back in black as Steve and Steven and we're here today to talk about how to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol. Steven, so great to be together again, Steve.

Steven Ginsburg:

I always love our time and love when we have the opportunity to focus on the solution together.

Steve Coughran:

Absolutely. And today I really want to pick your brain about this important topic. And let me start off with. You know, this whole idea of talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol. I wonder, you know, when it comes to talking to your children, you know, do parents feel more comfortable talking to them about sex, or about drugs and alcohol, or about money? And you know it's so interesting because I read a study, in fact, about money, where it said that more parents are comfortable to speak to the kids about sex than they are about money, because money is just this uncomfortable thing. So let's shift gears and talk about drugs and alcohol. What is your take on that and how do you think the overall sense is with parents?

Steven Ginsburg:

First of all, I think it's a very interesting point and talking point to look at and I think there's an unusual dynamic. There's a little bit of a dynamic of if they, if they don't address it or they sort of steer away from it, somehow it won't present itself as a problem and that's not reality nor realistic, and I believe they know that. But then, above and beyond that, there's also sort of a hopeful disconnect where it's not going to affect my child and none of those things connotate anything bad nor neglect. It's a bunch of wishful thinking, it's a lot of hope, but it won't serve our children best. But this is an area where I am very careful to be certain to be able to convey my conviction, but also not to overstep, and to help moms and dads find their way, to make it their own and present transparent information.

Steve Coughran:

And that makes perfect sense. I mean, is there a certain age that parents should start talking to their kids about drugs and alcohol?

Steven Ginsburg:

I really, really believe the inception of middle school. So if you have a middle school program that starts in sixth grade, I believe that's a perfect time. If you have a middle school program that starts with seventh grade, I believe that's a perfect time. I believe the sooner the better. You can just start to educate and inform your child or children about the perils of what's going on in the society with drugs and alcohol, the better and appropriate, depending on the age of the child. But it's important to keep them safe, it's important to protect them from themselves. And, steve, I think it's important to understand that these industries the tobacco industry, the alcohol industry and, to a degree, the drug industry is looking for their next crop of consumers and preparing as such. Those consumers are our children.

Steve Coughran:

But I mean, that's scary, I mean, and it's sad, but that's the reality.

Steven Ginsburg:

Agreed. It's scary and it's sad and it's the reality. So, since it's the reality and we've brought them here to this reality, let's insert ourselves and come alongside them and be bold and be transparent and invite them into the dynamic and stand with them and for them, against these things and only seek to harm them Absolutely.

Steve Coughran:

Great advice. Do you remember the dare program? Was that around when you?

Steven Ginsburg:

were in school it was. That was the dare program, that just say no program. Those are all big programs when I was coming up and if I had chosen to have ears that could listen or if I had the dynamic that was needed in my household, that would have served me well. But that wasn't the path I was supposed to be on, and that's fine, because it helped me contribute in the way I can on this day to whomever out there needs any of this content that you and I are providing.

Steve Coughran:

Well, and it's interesting too because you know, I heard once that you know the dare program and if you're listening to this and you're not familiar with it, it was. It stands for drug abuse resistance education and when it got launched in my school I think I was in like fourth or fifth grade they came in, they had like these really cool black shirts, you know, and dare was written and I think, in like red lettering and it's just like a really cool shirt and the cool program and they had like the police there, they brought the canine dog and it was this big thing. And then they came back to our school a couple times and I thought it was a neat program, but then I heard some criticism about it because they said that it almost made it like a little more, like a little more a learning for the kids. You know, not that they're like, oh yeah, you should go out there and do coke or smoke pot, but they, you know it almost had like the reverse effect, where kids are like, oh, this is, maybe, this is kind of cool, and it backfired a little bit on them. Now I'm not sure you know the full truth of that, but I bring that up because I want to ask you this question how do you think parents can best approach the conversation about drugs and alcohol with their kids but do it in a way that doesn't entice them or make them curious Meaning? Let me say this one more thing I mean because you know, if a parent says, hey, look, you know, johnny, you know I used to smoke pot back in high school, I just, I just am really concerned about being prevalent with you. So, you know, let's have open communication. I don't want you getting into it, you know. I mean I did it and I fell into this trap, and you know. But I don't want you to go down the same path. You know I'm not careful, don't you think a parent can almost plant a seed in the kid's head, or some kids heads, where they're like, hmm, my mom and dad, they, I mean, they did this, they smoke, they drank. You know they do this or that and they're fine. I could do the same thing and be fine. I mean, what are your thoughts on all that?

Steven Ginsburg:

I always go with what I get when you and I speak on these things reminds me of Adam and eve in the garden. You know they weren't supposed to eat the fruit and the serpent came and said what they said you couldn't eat the fruit. And what does Adam need want to do? Throw it off. You know they're gonna eat the fruit. So to your point, I think there's some of that that is layered in there. Historically, steve, and I think here's where, for me, I'm about it be becoming very small. For families, it's about sitting down with your children, it's about taking a good look at it over a series of conversations, it's about being candid. And then here's the last facet of what it's about, and it's about Helping your children understand from early on. This is a different day and age. There's different things out there, things that can kill you, that will kill you, and Because of that and because of this not being prevalent when I was coming up, we're gonna be drug testing you regularly, randomly, not because of anything you're doing wrong, but because of what you're facing in the world, and it's also going to give you the easiest out in the world if peer pressure Comes calling, and that is the ultimate way through these formative years, along with good information To keep your child or children safe. I want to say one last thing, and and parents sometimes will get tight right at this moment of the conversation that's absurd. My child doesn't need it. That's a generalization, it's an overshoot. Great, let's assume it's absurd. Let's assume your child doesn't need it. Let's assume it's an overshoot. If the only reason it's done is so that they don't have to face peer pressure, if the only reason it's done because it thwarts any possibility of them Encountering something with fentanyl in it, if the only reason it's done is because it further delays them drinking while underage, it is worth all of those factors that are Concentrated as negative to protect our children from what? From themselves, yeah.

Steve Coughran:

No, and I love that, and I love that idea of you know creating these guardrails, these boundaries, this structure, this process. You know whether it's, you know drug testing or whatever it may be. You know, just to. You know, like you said, give the kids an owl when they yes, you know they're around their friends and the bag of coke comes out and they're like whoa, I can't do that, like seriously, if, if my parents drug test me and if I show a positive, you will never see me again.

Steven Ginsburg:

There it is.

Steve Coughran:

So you're like, okay, cool, let's move on to the next kid, right?

Steven Ginsburg:

They get it and you are protecting your child and it's not about I don't ever want the parents to view. I am very consistent with this message. You know I am. You've shown me a long time now and you've heard it for me a time and time again. It's not about your kid, it's about the other kids and we want to reach every single child Because it is out there. Just play the tape all the way through. There is going to come a day. Every single solitary thing is going to be legal, gonna be taxed, gonna be marketed, gonna be sold. This is that moment where this, this actual action item, can keep them safe from the whole rest of the outside world when all of these things are concerned.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, that's interesting. Well, let me let's talk more about education here. You know, there's been a big shift in my church, at least not necessarily with the doctrine, but more just with the whole mindset or the accountability among the members. And let me explain here. You know, I think years ago the idea in and I don't think the church instituted this mindset, I just think it naturally came about by the people. But they, they figured look, the church is responsible for teaching our children. You know the gospel, so you send your kids to Sunday school, you know, and in the church and the church leaders and these Sunday school programs, they're the ones that are responsible for teaching the kids. You know these principles. And then you know, as time has gone on, and especially you know more recently, the church is like no, no, no, like we're here to support, right, but the gospel is taught, you know, in the home. So it's the parents responsibility. The church is just a support mechanism. So that let me, you know, use the same analogy and related to the schools, and get your opinion what responsibility do parents have to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol Versus the school, and do you think the same type of mentality applies, or do you think parents are kind of off the hook and it's really up to the schools to educate kids about drugs and alcohol?

Steven Ginsburg:

Heck. No, I don't want the parents to rely on anyone but themselves in home base and then be blessed and privileged and and Grateful if there's any facet of that information that's out there in these other institutions. If the church is carrying that message, as that is some good church, and if it's school they're offering constructive Education and preventative information, that is some good school. But we can't rely on any of that in this day and age. It's unfortunate and I don't blame anyone for that and I don't care. It's not about blame, it's about results and it's about taking care of home base and it's about being intentional and it's about being that first line of defense and equipping these children and Preparing them for what lie ahead. And perhaps there's some. Some parents have something great to offer To churches into schools and and they can make respectful suggestions. But understand it starts and ends at home. Yeah.

Steve Coughran:

I love that, no, and this has been a great conversation and I I think, for parents listening out there, whether it's parents or siblings, or whether it's you know kids or I mean Whoever it is listening I think there's a lot of great takeaways for how we can talk with one another. You know, whether that's a child, the parent, parents, child, sibling to sibling. But I think having these crucial conversations is really critical Just to keep tabs on on people and keep people accountable and just you know, if we do it in a loving way, in a genuine way, rather than an attacking way, then hopefully people are vulnerable enough and they can share their struggles if they are caught in a snare.

Steven Ginsburg:

It's so important. And, steve, I just want to say any parent who's out there, anyone who's out there, there are any questions or thoughts or anything you want more information on, we are here. This is what this is for. Please reach out to us. You will hear back from us. This is a subject I am Extremely passionate about and convicted about, because I know what our children are facing. I know what I faced and what our children are facing in this day and age is far worse and far greater than the threat I faced as I was coming up in a world of drugs and alcohol. So please, be bold, be courageous, be transparent, be vulnerable, be available for your children and Truly, you will have that opportunity to protect them from themselves and keep them safe, a day at a time.

Steve Coughran:

Love that and if you need more resources, please go to restore detox centers calm. We have ebooks on there. There's other episodes you can check out and, if you like Stephen said, if you have any questions, comments or you just want to Connect with us, you can email us at hello at restore detox centers calm.

Steven Ginsburg:

Thank, you all so much Absolutely critical topic and conversation that we covered just now and we look forward to hearing from you and helping everyone continue to stay safe and to be sober.

Talking to Kids About Substance Abuse
Protecting Children From Addiction and Harm