Preparing for Summer with Teens
By: Amity Chandler, former DFCC: Executive DirectorWith summer vacation in full swing for students, the Prevention Team at Preferred Family Healthcare would like to take a moment to share some insights that we've recently read from Amity Chandler, former Executive Director with Drug Free Charlotte County in Florida. Here are Amity's tips to navigate summer with your teens
Tip 1: Throw out the left-over liquor bottles that are sitting around from the holiday partiesYour teens were not hatched yesterday. If they're going to experiment, it will be with the stuff your least likely to look at or touch. This also means old prescriptions and the cigarettes you might have quit a month ago. Also consider most Florida teens say when they drink they do so at another friend's home. There is a parent somewhere that hasn't gotten the memo... it's time for us to start talking to the parents of our teens friends and asking direct questions, such as, does my teen have access to alcohol in your home? Worst - case scenario is you'll embarrass your teen. Let's just say it won't be the first or last time.
Tip 2: A summer job is not a barrier to experimentationIn fact, it can be a gateway. Summer jobs are great for teaching responsibility, earning money and other life lessons. Summer jobs can also result in relationships between your teen and older, legal drinking-age individuals. Plan on talking to your teen about work relationships, new friends and your expectations of them while they are working for the summer, including curfews and work hours.
Tip 3: Prepare for boredomDon't fall victim to the "I'm bored" routine. Before you know it, they'll be calling you on the phone while your at work asking to go to place A, with friend B, whom you've actually never met, but is a friend of friend C, whom you know quite well. Don't get me wrong, I believe most teens are inherently honest and good, but I've noticed they can smell weakness. Insist on a 24-hour notice for plans of activity outside the home. If friend B is really that important to your teen, they'll make plans within your guidelines.
Drug Trends: Desmethyl FentanylThere's a new illegally produced synthetic drug floating around that can cause serious harm if you come into contact with it. Desmethyl Fentanyl is a chemically modified derivative of the powerful prescription painkiller Fentanyl - reportedly "40 times more potent than heroin and 80 times stronger than morphine."
Four Montreal, Canada cops were made ill by handling some amount seized even while taking safety precautions like wearing a masks and gloves.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on drugs and mental health information.
To find out more important information from the Prevention Team, click here for the full Newsletter