Early intervention is the best way to help your child. Be aware of signs of drug use by following these guidelines, based on the recommendations of the National Drug Council. Noticing Signs of Drug Abuse
STEP 1: Observe your child’s relationships. Have relations deteriorated? Does your child have a new group of friends?
STEP 2: Take note of changes in your child’s eating and/or sleeping habits, and look for signs of depression or withdrawal.
STEP 3: Notice if your child has suddenly lost interest in his or her favorite activities.
STEP 4: Be wary of irregular school attendance or a slip in your child’s grades.
STEP 5: Note any increased hostility in your child’s behavior.
STEP 6: Check to see if your child has become more careless about grooming.
STEP 7: Pay attention to clues around the house. Has money been disappearing? Be sure to note the presence of small medicine bottles, eye drops or butane lighters in the house, as well as more obvious items such as homemade pipes and bongs made from soda cans or plastic beverage containers.
Tips & Warnings
The unpredictable behavior that is typical among preteens and teenagers can make it difficult for parents to determine signs of drug or alcohol abuse. But if your child exhibits one or more of the above signs, consider the possibility that he or she is using drugs.
Acting on Your Suspicions
STEP 1: Ask your child what has been going on, both in school and out, and explore what could be going on in his or her emotional or social life that might be causing drug use.
STEP 2: Show your love for your child by being firm and enforcing whatever discipline you have established for breaking house rules.
STEP 3: Work together to come up with ways that your child can avoid using drugs and alcohol in the future.
STEP 4: Discuss possible ways that your child could regain the family’s trust, such as calling in, spending evenings at home and raising school grades.
Tips & Warnings
Wait to confront your child when he or she is sober and you are calm.
Express your suspicions openly, but avoid direct accusations.
Avoid denial or self-blame. The truth is that drug abuse can occur in families of any socioeconomic background, and in both happy and unhappy homes.
The faster you act, the faster you can help your child on the road to recovery.
If your child is reluctant to talk to you, seek outside help: the school guidance counselor, the family physician or a local drug treatment referral center. They may be able to get a better response from your child.
The National Drug Council (NDC) is an independent statutory body set up under the National Drug Council Law, 1997 to co-ordinate anti-drug measures in the Cayman Islands. The National Drug Council consists of 13 council members and an office which serves as the secretariat.
To keep under review the situation in the islands with respect to the abuse of drugs.
To formulate and develop drug prevention and rehabilitation policies and programmes.
To advise the Minister on drug prevention and rehabilitation policies and programmes; the licensing and operation of treatment and rehabilitation centres; drug supply control measures; and law reform relating to the misuse of drugs.
To educate the public, particularly the young, on the dangers of drug abuse, and to initiate, sponsor and support conferences, seminars, and meetings related to drug abuse.
To promote and support training in the field of Drug Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation.
To promote and encourage the establishment of a system to coordinate the treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers and the care of persons associated with drug abusers.
To establish and operate treatment centres.
To conduct research into, and develop and maintain a database of information on drug abuse in the islands.
The NDC's mandate is to provide policy advice, information, develop programmes and conduct research in the following key areas:
Education, in particular young people
Treatment & Rehabilitation
We do this through:
Conferences, seminars and meetings related to drug abuse
Studies, reports and other documentation on drug abuse
Information systems and databases on policies, programmes and research on drug abuse
Information on the availability and supply of drugs likely to be abused
Legislation relating to the misuse of drugs
National Drug Council
P.O. Box10007,Unit 17 & 18 Caymanian Village, North Sound RoadGrand Cayman KY1-1001,Cayman Islands