Thursday, January 24, 2019

Encouraging Teens to Better Communicate

Encouraging Kids to Communicate: An Excerpt from the New Book HIGH by David and Nic Sheff
HIGH Book Cover
Below is an excerpt from the new book HIGH: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction by David and Nic Sheff, a father and son team who are experts on substance use and addiction because they've lived through it. The book is intended for kids.

In David's and Nic's own words: The book isn't full of cut and dried answers, because there are none. This book isn't going to tell you what to do, because no one else is in your shoes. This book isn't going to tell you to "just say no." This book wants you to "just say know."

David and Nic wrote this book for teens and young adults, ensuring that they were treating them with the respect and honesty they deserve. But parents can learn a lot from teen-oriented drug education, too (like NIDA's National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week) and keep this book on hand to help open up useful conversations with their kids.

Finding Help, Helping Each Other
As we’ve said, kids need help with whatever they’re dealing with: bullying, gang violence, questions of sexual orientation and health, self-harm, gender and cultural identity, stress, poverty, violence at home, and much more. When parents can’t help, some schools have programs in place to help with some of these issues. At the least, many have counselors.

One way some schools help students is with peer-counseling programs. It can be easier for some kids to talk with one another than to adults about certain things in their lives. “Adults are always trying to solve our problems,” said Teri, a high school sophomore. “We need someone to listen. And there’s a bond when we see each other during school. Someone who knows you and appreciates you.”

With the permission of everyone in the group, we visited a peer-counseling session at a school in California. It was remarkable—it made us wish we had peer counseling when we were in high school
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