With three little clicks, I could get a 60-day supply of Xanax shipped to my door by the end of the week. I don’t need a doctor or a prescription – all I need is a credit card.
As a parent, you might be surprised to learn what people sell online. A quick keyword search for marijuana, followed by another for Adderall, deliver an obscene number of results. Some sellers try to be discreet, using coded terms; others blatantly advertise that they’re selling Vicodin and Percocet.
Although the FBI shut down the famous Silk Road in 2013, authorities report online drug sales certainly haven’t slowed down. It’s a frightening trend for parents. So, how can you keep your tech savvy teen safe?
Screening Your Teen’s Screen
Here are some tips to prevent your teen from surfing the world wide web of drugs:
- Open Their Eyes
Teens looking to experiment with drugs usually don’t see the dangers. Make time to talk to your teen about the risks of using drugs – specifically the dangers of buying online.
Online pharmacies aren’t dependable. While there are some legitimate online pharmacies, it’s difficult to discern which ones are the real deal and which ones are a front. This is especially true if you’re a kid who’s simply looking to score some pills. Even the legit online pharmacies aren’t closely regulated, so they send less-than-ideal products.
Also, teens buy drugs online because they think it’s safer than meeting shady characters in questionable parts of town. It’s not; sellers can easily track them down through their IP address. And most teenagers probably don’t even think about the danger of legal action. Let them know authorities are cracking down on illegal online drug purchases and many arrests have been made.
- Monitor Their Internet Activities
If you aren’t sure that educating your teen will be enough, try blocking the sources. Using parental control software, you limit their access to the certain websites.
Parental control software tracks where your teen goes online. Simply knowing you’re aware of their activities may deter them from exploring drug sites.
- Lead the Conversation
Taking all of these precautions at home doesn’t prevent your teen from accessing dangerous online pharmacies elsewhere. That’s why it’s important to talk to your child and keep lines of communication open. Don’t avoid the topic of drugs hoping that your teen won’t think about trying them.
The drugs are out there. You can’t rid the world of them and you can’t shut down the Internet. This means you must remain vigilant and communicate the dangers of substance abuse with your teen.
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