You’ve gotten the call that you’ve wanted to avoid — your child has been arrested for drug use or possession. They’re scared and need you to help them through the upcoming proceedings. Although the exact laws for drug charges for minors vary by state, your child can expect to face fines, mandated rehabilitation and possibly time in juvenile detention.
If this is your child’s first offense and they only have a small amount of drugs on them, they’re likely to receive lower fines and less time served, if any. However, past criminal history, how much of the illegal substance they were found with and if they intended to distribute the drugs are all factors that determine how heavily they’ll be sentenced.
How Can You Help?
When you discover your son or daughter is on drugs, your first thought is likely, “how can I help?” Here are some things you can do for your child right away:
- Stay calm: This is a stressful time, but allowing emotions to get in the way can hurt your child’s case and damage your relationship.
- Get legal counsel: You and your child should not speak to the police without representation. A lawyer can keep you from incriminating yourself and guide you through the rest of the process.
- Explore rehabilitation options: Regardless of why your child resorted to drug use, treatment options like rehabilitation can help them stay clean from drugs in the future. A judge may be more lenient with sentencing if you can show evidence that your child is trying to do better.
What Happens if They Get Caught With Drugs at School?
If your child is found with drugs in their possession on or near school grounds, things can get even more complicated. Along with breaking state laws, they’re also violating school rules, which can carry heavy consequences of their own. Depending on the severity of the violation, they may face exclusion from extracurricular activities and special events, suspension or expulsion.
Tips for Talking With Your Child About Their Drug Use
When you get the chance to talk with your child alone, remember these tips so that you can both get the most out of this difficult conversation:
- Speak calmly: Make sure that you think things through and let your child know you want to help.
- Be firm: Help them understand the gravity of the situation by explaining what might happen, like getting heavy fines and jail time.
- Be understanding: While your child must understand the consequences of their actions, it’s also vital for you to show affection and that you love them.
Find Support at 7 Summit Pathways
Navigating your child’s drug charge is a tumultuous time for the whole family. Your child feels hopeless and angry, and you’re overwhelmed and unsure what to do next. Although 7 Summit Pathways only accepts adults over 18 into our programs, connecting with one of our Interventional Specialists can give you some support from someone who understands what you’re going through. We can also offer you some advice about moving forward and overcoming barriers. Connect with us today.