Tips for Talking to Your Teenagers About Psychedelics

Psychedelics have become increasingly popular, with more studies finding that the substances may have therapeutic benefits for a range of mental health disorders. While this is positive, their adoption into mainstream media also increases the risk of teens consuming these drugs in the name of experimentation.

For example, data from a 2021 survey conducted by the University of Michigan found that roughly 10% of 8th graders, 19% of 10th graders and more than 30% of 12th graders has used illegal drugs in the last year. A separate survey by NIDA also found that a percentage of teens had consumed MDMA, LSD and ketamine in the past year and felt it would be easy to obtain cocaine.

So, how can you talk to your teenage children about psychedelics and other drugs?

For starters, you’ll want to initiate a casual conversation about these drugs with your teen. This will allow you to connect with your child and also learn how much they know about these drugs.

Keep in mind that teenagers have a short attention span so a one-hour conversation may not be the best fit. Additionally, you should ensure that you listen and ask questions as teens sometimes feign familiarity to act mature.

If you do discover that your child may have experimented with the drugs, scolding will not help. Instead, focus on harm reduction as this reduces the severity of the risks associated with drug use. You can start by encouraging them to be safe and talk about safe dosages, as high psychedelic doses may cause bad trips.

You can also highlight the importance of knowing the source of a drug before consuming it. If a source cannot be verified, advise your child to refrain from consumption as some drugs may be laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid analgesic that is classified as a Schedule II prescription drug.

One can reduce the risk of an accidental fentanyl overdose by testing using fentanyl testing strips. This may just save their lives. In the event of an overdose, a Narcan kit will save a life. These contain Naloxone-filled needles that reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when injected.

When having a conversation with your child about these drugs, encourage them to call home even if they are intoxicated. You not only provide a safe space for them but also make them more comfortable with being open with you.

Here are some resources you can use as you consider this conversation:

It is also important to emphasize that nearly all industry actors, including Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ), are focused on developing formulations to be used in clinical settings and not for recreational purposes, which is testament to how potent these substances can be.

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