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Contemporary Parenting Questions

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Last updated on 09/07/08

What should I do if I suspect my child is doing drugs?

Most parents cannot imagine their children doing drugs willingly. In fact, only 20 percent of parents think their kids may have been offered illicit drugs when in fact statistics show that up to 53 percent have been. In 2000, 54 percent of twelfth-graders reported having tried an illegal drug; up from 43 percent in 1993. These days, drugs can be found everywhere and it may seem to a teenager like everyone is doing them. Many teens are tempted by the excitement or escape that drugs seem to offer. Ultimately, it is the parents’ job to educate their children from a young age about substance abuse. Once parents learn strategies to keep in touch with their children before they become teenagers, they will be in a better position to understand the pressures their teens face and will be able to communicate their concerns and expectations.

In the Jewish Community

Sadly, substance abuse is a growing problem in the Jewish Community. Just a few weeks ago in mid-August, two Jewish teenagers from Brooklyn were arrested after assaulting a vendor selling flowers after he refused to buy drugs from them and told them to put the drugs away. In July, a 61-year-old father of eight in Yerushalayim’s Meah Shearim neighborhood was arrested for drug dealing. Although many reading this will simply dismiss these facts as things that happen to “other people”, their ignorance can be deadly. Fortunately, many schools and organizations like Project Yes (founded by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz) have reached out to curb this disturbing trend.

Use the following links to educate yourself about substance abuse. Learn about why teenagers do drugs, what to do if you suspect your child is doing drugs, and where to go for help.

Frequently Asked Links

Why do teens use drugs?

Why is it important for parents to know about substance abuse?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What is prescription drug abuse? more

What are inhalants?

Why is the use of inhalants dangerous?

Do teenagers abuse over-the counter drugs?

What are some of the drugs that are frequently abused? more

Why would a teenager use marijuana?

Are boys more likely to abuse drugs than girls are?

Where do teens get drugs?

What are some of the effects of drugs on teens?

How can I warn my child about the dangers of drug abuse?

How can I recognize signs of substance abuse?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What are some of the signs of an addiction?

What actions can be taken to curb teenage drug abuse? more more

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What can I do if I suspect my child is using drugs?

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Resources

Jewish Resources for Substance Abuse

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Alcohol and Other Drug Information for Teens
http://www.child.net/drugalc.htm
This informational page by the National Children's Coalition offers facts about drugs and alcohol, teen recovery groups, and a drug and alcohol resource center.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
http://www.nida.nih.gov
NIDA offers a science-based drug abuse education program for students, news, information, and resources.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
http://www.sadd.org
SADD is a peer leadership organization dedicated to preventing underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, and destructive decisions.

National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD)
http://www.ncadd.org
This organization provides education, information, and help in the fight against alcohol and other drug addictions. Call: (800) NCA-CALL

American Council for Drug Education
http://www.acde.org
The ACDE is a prevention and education agency against substance abuse. This website includes a helpful list of symptoms associated with specific drugs.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
http://www.na.org
NA is an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts. Call: (818) 773-9999

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/
This organization provides resources and referrals related to drug and alcohol abuse. Call: (800) 729-6686

Addiction Help Line
http://www.addiction-help-line.com
Submit a request for a referral on this site, and it will help direct you to the nearest and most appropriate treatment centers.

Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.

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