NIDA2015This week is #DrugFactsWeek and although all year round parents should be having conversations with their kids about the risks of substance abuse, there are always new trends that can be difficult to keep up with.

With the ever expanding Internet, fake online pharmacies, and so-called friends quick to offer your kids free samples, the more conversations we have – the safer your children will be.

January 26th through February 1st is a time to take a closer look at what is trending in the drug world.

I have talked a lot about kids, especially teens and their obsession (well, how much they like) YouTube.  In a survey it was determined that 93% of teens visit YouTube on a weekly basis.

Well, okay – you are saying – what’s the problem?

There isn’t one if you are having frequent offline conversations with your teen about online safety.  YouTube is one of the sites that has been targeted with fake online pharmacies that have allowed minors to purchase prescription medicines.   They know about it – claim they have cleaned it up, but Digital Citizens Alliance team cautions parents to continue to educate your kids about these types of cyber-criminals.

In reality teens are all over social media and so are many digital drug-dealers just waiting for their prey.

Having a strong and grounded offline foundation will help your child and teen make better choices online and off for that matter.

Parenting your child about online matters offline is imperative.  Some parents believe since they have a monitoring system in place, they can simply walk away.  That is a false sense of security.  There is nothing that can replace common sense when your child is about to click-in or make a wise decision to click-out of an area online that seems risky.

With all the parental controls in the world, you will never be able to censor their choices, including whether they decide to pop a pill, snort a line or chug cough syrup.  Nothing replaces old-fashion face-to-face parenting.  Have conversations before they land into confrontations — or worse.

Make this a week you learn something new about the trends today – or maybe you missed something from before.

Visit NIDA for Teens and pass it on to your kids.  There is so much GREAT information and resources there.  Their blog is always updating and here is where you can get the facts on drugs.

Learn how you can be a part of #DrugFactsWeek.

Visit my guest post, Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist, by John T. James, PhD, DABT