A Message to Parents from the Guidance Department

Drugs and alcohol are not safe for the developing adolescent brain. They manipulate the way a teen thinks, focuses, learns, remembers and concentrates, inside and outside of school.

Drugs are illegal in this country and alcohol is illegal for those under 21 years old. Using drugs and/or alcohol, is damaging to still-developing brains and bodies, and using drugs or alcohol puts one at risk with the law.

Adolescents may self-medicate hoping to escape feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness; which needs to be addressed, so healthy coping mechanisms can be found.

Inhaling anything; shisha, vaping, cigarettes or hash (even second-hand smoke) can cause life-long damage an adolescent’s lungs and the dangers should be addressed with your child(ren).

In addition, to discussing the dangers of drugs and alcohol a dialogue should be opened about driving with someone who is under the influence. Being impaired in judgement increases the risk of road accidents and fatalities. Being impaired can also have a negative affect on a person’s decision-making process.

Posting about drugs and alcohol on social media sets your child up to be in trouble with the law, and can have negative affects regarding their reputation. These posts never go away, even after deleted, and may be brought up when your child applies for university, work, marriage, or for other events in their future.

We encourage you to talk to your child(ren) about drugs and alcohol, there are going to be a lot of temptations, but your child(ren) can avoid them, and your guidance in this area will support them and give them confidence in themselves to face any situation that may arise.

Research supports that being there for your child, setting basic guidelines, answering questions honestly, scientifically and in regards to your family’s culture and values, all can support adolescents in making the right life choices. Support your child(ren) in figuring out what they truly enjoy, what their future dreams are, what they need more of — and less of — from you as their parent.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me leah.robertson@heritageinternationalschool.com