Q & A

A Night with Dr. Beacham - Drug Awareness Q&A's                                                  October 29, 2012

Can or do schools use drug sniffing dogs to detect drugs?

            We have been advised that using canine detection services is problematic, we are

currently gathering more information about this.   

Do the schools provide voluntary drug testing for students?
            Volunteer drug testing is currently going on at some schools in the HBUHSD.  Parents

will need to sign a waiver if they would like their student to participate.  The waivers can

be obtained in the Supervision Office at the school sites.

What is the #1 drug being used today?

Marijuana or Alcohol is the #1 drug being used today.  This would be followed by

prescription pills.

What can parents do to influence their children to make the right choices over their peers encouraging them to just try things?

Being proactive about having a good relationship with their teen - kids ultimately want their parent’s approval, kids know what their parents' values are in life.

How can a parent prevent their child from even trying alcohol/drugs?  Suggestions?
            You may not be able to.  Teens want to explore and experience adventure.  They will

make wrong choices along the way, but will need parents to guide them when they do

and support them.

Do you believe that the ADHD medicine/drug are a gateway to addiction to other substances?

There does not appear to be a link between ADHD medications and future substance abuse. There is a higher likelihood that a student may turn to illegal substances as a way to self medicate when his/her symptoms are not being addressed. Current & best practices for the treatment of ADHD includes medication management along with behavioral modification.

Can you talk about today’s marijuana?

Today the marijuana is much stronger, more potent and often laced with other drugs. Also medical marijuana is a hybrid drug.

What do you do about a 19 year old daughter, away at college? Drinks way too much too often? Away from my control. Already gotten in trouble with the law in Massachusetts.

Tough love is the issue here. If you are paying tuition for college, it should be contingent on grades and attendance, etc.

A local parent threw an (alcohol) party for her sophomore this weekend.  That is illegal, correct?  What can we do about social hosting by parents of our high schoolers?
            Yes, it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors.  Our schools provide parents and families with
            literature explaining legal issues related to serving alcohol to minors.  Parents should call
            the house where the party is to be held and ask if there will be alcohol being served.

We were in shock when our 13 year old came home drunk last weekend. Monday we went to the nearest AA meeting. Any other suggestions for us as parents/family?

The fact that you showed concern and acted immediately is a good thing. Normal adolescent development includes some risk-taking behavior as they become more concerned with belonging to peer groups and less concerned with pleasing their parents. It is important to set limits and clear consequences when those limits are broken. Also, don’t forget to build your child up the more attention you give them when they’re doing something good, the less the child would gain from breaking the rules.

How do I get ($$) help for my son’s detox?  Do you/would you provide funds for us?
            School districts do not provide funds for a student’s recovery.  Addiction is considered a
            medical disease, therefore it is recommended that families go through their health
            insurance.  The school can provide resources and support to families and students,
            which could include helping non-insured students gain access to healthcare programs.

Are parents aware that some insurance companies have chemical dependency programs?
            Parents need to be vigilant in pursuing rehabilitation support for their child.  If their
            insurance denies treatment there are appeal processes in place that can help expedite
            drug treatment programs for teens.

How would you handle adult peer pressure?
            Don’t worry about what the other parent will think about you, do the right thing, have integrity.  If you
            suspect that someone is under the influence or abusing substances, do the right thing and report it.          
            You can always report the issue anonymously if you are afraid of repercussions or retaliation.