Having the drug use talk with your kids

First responders urge parents to have drug talk with their kids.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:40 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 12:26 AM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The number of accidental drug overdoses is on a steady incline.

According to the latest National Safety Council report, that number has increased to more than 220,000, with nearly 15 percent being children under the age of 15.

First responders in the Pine Belt are giving parents tips on how to talk to their children.

“The best way to start it, I think, is to just be direct,” said Sumrall Fire Chief Virginia Hayes.

Hayes said that it was important for children to learn the affects of drug use early.

There are some cases across the country where people have even reported accidental exposure.

“If you find money laying on the ground, don’t touch it. Especially dollar bills,” Hayes said.

Another piece of advice is to stay involved in your children’s lives outside of home.

Laurel Police Department Captain Shannon Caraway said there were usually signs that can alert parents to deeper issues.

“Some of the signs that people don’t pay attention to, like if you notice that your child’s grades are falling or depressed or they may have a change in their eating habits,” Caraway said. “They might have started hanging out with friends. Usually that’s a sign that something is going on at school or in their personal lives.”

Caraway said parents can get a better response if they relate to their children and maybe share similar experiences at their age.

“Usually the child will open up and say ‘Guess what?’ if they know someone,” Caraway said. “Then you can say ‘Have you ever tried or have you ever thought about it?’”

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