Parenting Tips

With drug dealers targeting younger and younger kids, parents should not put off having a talk with their children about the methods being used to trick them into using illicit drugs.

Talk to Your Kids
"The best advice we can give parents is to talk to your kids," says COMBAT Assistant Director of Operations Vince Ortega. "Reinforce in them the old adage: Never take candy or anything else from a stranger. Be sure that they know not to take medicine from anyone other than you."

Parents should be specific when talking to their children, warning about the tactics drug dealers are using - such as Ecstasy pills shaped like vitamins or drugs packaged to resemble candy.

Observe Your Kids
Parents should also observe their children closely, looking for any changes in their behavior.

Be Aware of Young Dealers
Compounding the challenge to parents is that drug dealers will often recruit children to sell or give drugs to other kids.

"In a few rare instances, police will uncover a drug ring that was started by and is being run by teenagers," Ortega stresses. "A kid's drug dealer can possibly be another kid."