Caught Your Children with Pills? What to do Now

Finding out your child is taking or dealing drugs can be devastating and it’s important to act quickly. In this article, we’ll share our tips for dealing with this upsetting experience.

Catching your child using or, worse, dealing drugs is something that most parents fear. It’s one thing to worry about the very real health risks but another to worry about them possibly doing jail time. If your child is of the age of criminal responsibility, this could be a very real issue.

Sentencing guidelines for being concerned in the supply of drugs can include a prison sentence of up to eight years. So, are there ways to interject with your children before this becomes a real possibility. 

In this article, we’ll share our advice on what to do if you have caught your child using or dealing drugs. 

What to do if You Catch Your Child Using Drugs

It’s perfectly normal to feel angry and distressed if you’ve caught your child using drugs but, it’s really important to try to stay calm and to try not to judge. Being overly angry could risk pushing your child away, although this is often easier said than done for a parent. 

Try To Talk It out

Experimentation can be a normal part of a child or teen’s development and, it may be that your child has perhaps tried a drug just once to see what all the fuss is about or has bowed to peer pressure. 

If you have found drugs or drug paraphernalia in your child’s room, you need to first find out if they have actually taken any of the drugs before going off the deep end. 

Choose a time when neither of you are busy to have a frank and honest conversation with your child to find out their motivation for using drugs and to explain the dangers in a calm and rational way, without using angry or threatening language.

You want your child to know you disapprove of their behavior but still maintain good communication, which can be tricky in this situation. 

If you discover that your child is a regular drug user, it’s a good idea to explore counseling or rehabilitation services in your local area, in order to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes a full-blown addiction. 

What if They’re Caught Using Drugs in School?

If your child has been caught using drugs at school, he or she may be suspended. Make an appointment to meet with the head teacher as soon as possible to discuss ways in which your child may be disciplined without this impacting on his or her education. 

While UK schools are not required to report your child to the police, many have a policy of doing so, it’s really important to act quickly in order to minimize the damage caused. Many parents make the mistake of believing that their child cannot be prosecuted. However, the age of criminal responsibility in the UK is just 10 years old.  

What to Do If Your Child is Dealing Drugs

If you have found evidence that your child may be supplying or dealing drugs, for example, you’ve found drugs in their room in amounts which suggest that the drugs are not just for personal consumption, there are a few courses of action which you may take: 

Seize the Drugs 

Taking away the drugs will perhaps prevent your child from continuing with their activities but, do bear in mind the fact that your child may just be a courier. This means that the drugs actually belong to somebody else and, by seizing them, you may be putting your child in harm’s way. 

Threaten to/or Inform the Police 

While this might seem like a good idea in order to give your child a ‘short, sharp shock’, you need to think carefully about the ramifications. The police may choose to give your child a warning, depending on his or her age but, there is always a chance that your child may face prosecution. 

Discuss the Consequences  

Talking to your child about the possible consequences of their behavior is the most sensible option. Without judgment, find out what the situation is and discuss what can be done. 

You need to make it clear that you are there to help, but also that the behavior will not be tolerated. Together, try to work out a plan to move forward. For example, the child giving the drugs back to the person who has recruited them as a courier.

If Children Are Caught Dealing by Police

If your child has been dealing drugs and has been caught by the police, you need to take action straight away. It’s essential that you get in touch with a good solicitor who will be able to advise on the action to be taken and who will be able to represent your child should the case go to court. 

Drug dealing is a serious offense and there’s a possibility that the CPS will choose to make an example of your child, so it’s important to secure representation as soon as possible.

Nipping this behavior in the bud can be difficult…

It’s natural to experience a period of denial when finding out that your child has been using or dealing drugs, but this is not a problem which will go away if you ignore it. Start by calmly discussing the issue with your child in a quiet and calm environment and avoid issuing threats. 

If you feel that your child may continue to use drugs, you may want to consider pausing their allowance in order to make it more difficult for them to buy drugs. If your child has been dealing drugs, you must secure the services of a solicitor as soon as possible as this is not something that you should try to handle yourself as you could well make things worse for your child. 

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