There are many complicated factors as to the reasons why children use chemical substances to self-medicate. Parental modeling of illegal substance use and legal psychiatric substance use does influence children's drug use as this is the environment in which they are growing and developing. However, parents using drugs for medical problems is less clear. I do believe that when parents model anything, and when it is a way of life, children are internalizing it as their model for how to live. They may be less likely to seek out alternative healing methods if they only see parents pop pills for every ailment that arises. However, overall the biggest factors in drug use in children are the security of the parent-child attachment relationship and peer group relationships. If children have secure, deeply connected relationships with their parents and are in trauma-free environments, they are unlikely to put any attention on self-medicating- there would be no unmet need to fulfill. If children are free of impersonal, hierarchical learning environments and instead learn in freedom, peace and in joy, there is no chronic distress leading them to consider drug use. If children are free of environments that foster toxic peer groups and instead children form positive, healthy friendships with other well attached youth, there will likewise be no attraction to the drug scene.
For the youth I worked with for many years in the public schools, living in abusive, neglectful or otherwise mainstream environments, drug use seems to them like a logical escape from their painful lives. Children who are Attachment Parented, unschooled or who learn in stress-free environments will have bodily and emotional health and integrity- Drug use will hold no attraction to them.
Last edited by LACouture; 04-04-2011, 08:31 AM.