According to the 2007 Nova Scotia Student Drug Survey, the top three drugs with which students experiment are alcohol, cannabis and tobacco.
That doesn't mean youth don't experiment with other drugs, but those three are far and away the top choices.
Some experimentation is normal at this time. Right now your child is developing his or her own identity, and is coming up with coping strategies to deal with problems and challenges. If your child has been experimenting it does not mean he or she will go on to develop a dependency. But it is still cause for concern. A youth's body and brain is still physically developing; drugs could interfere with that development. Also, it's important that your child learns healthy coping skills, rather than taking drugs as a way to deal with life's challenges.
There are many ways you can help your child through this period. Talk openly about your concerns about drugs, always emphasizing that you care about your child's health and safety. Set expectations about your position on drugs, as well as consequences if your rules are not followed. Get involved in your child's life by enjoying more healthy leisure activities together.
Become well informed about how drugs work and what all the risks are. Our brochure, Straight Talk on Drugs, will give you all the facts, including tips on how to talk to your child if they under the influence.
And do not hesitate to call Addictions Services for help and support, whether you think your child is just experimenting or are convinced there is a problem. In Nova Scotia, an entire range of addiction services are provided free of charge through Nova Scotia's District Health Authorities and the IWK. No one will know you called or came in and your information will be kept in strictest confidence. Find the Addiction Services office nearest you.
Crown copyright 2011, Province of Nova Scotia, all rights reserved.
Page last updated 2011-07-12.