Drugs are scary for everyone. Whether you are a user, or the loved one of someone who is hooked on drugs, the topic is downright frightening.

But the one fear that always seems to amaze some treatment professionals is the fear of calling police on a child using or selling drugs. Many parents simply can’t do it. Yes, they might get arrested on a minor crime. But the act could teach them a life-saving lesson.

A teen with a joint at home seems harmless to some parents. They rationalize it with sayings like, “I had one when I was a teen,” or “it’s a rite of passage.” But that one marijuana cigarette could spiral into a 4 pound drug deal. The charges quickly escalate from possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor in most states, and typically wiped off the record of a minor with the attendance of drug class, to felony drug possession with intent to distribute.

Beyond the legal ramifications, you may be able to thwart the experimentation of an adolescent, before it becomes an addiction. But most parents are too scared, hoping the problem will go away, correct itself, or resolve. These things typically don’t happen. A teen who starts using drugs, and hangs out with a crowd who routinely uses, will likely to continue to use. This problem doesn’t go away.

Why do parents have such a hard time? Is it that they can never envision their “baby” lead away by police in handcuffs? They do not want to face the shame withing the community or the family for having a drug user in the home? It is far easier to get help for someone experimenting than to try to help someone who has a habit.

An 11-year-old hated the smell of pot so much, he took matters into his own hands. No, the crowd he hangs out with a school were not smoking. He was sick of his parents incessant pot smoking. The boy simply had had enough. He had to parent his parents. So he grabbed his digital camera, and started snapping photos of his mother and step-father’s supply. And then he sent it to police.

The boy photographed 8 pounds of marijuana. The couple quickly claimed that the pot was medicinal for the step-father’s health issues. Problem is, Minnesota doesn’t have a medicinal marijuana law, like many other states.

The boy told police that he couldn’t escape the smell of marijuana inside the home. The mother, in a television interview, claimed that she doesn’t ever smell it in the house, and that the slightest whiff of it makes her ill.

To make matters worse, the mother is a probation officer. Here is a woman sworn to help monitor people who have turned to crime and help them rehabilitate, and she has two young children in the home with 8 pounds of marijuana.

The step-father had scales, weapons, and instruments consistent with supplies used by drug dealing criminals. Both the mother and step-father now face drug charges.

This child stood up for himself and knew drugs were bad. Not many kids would do that. The sad thing is, not many parents would do it either.

Don’t be afraid to deal with a drug problem in your home. Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about drugs, drug use, and the affects that drugs have on people. Encourage your kids to have an open dialogue with you regarding drugs and alcohol.

Home drug test your children to make sure they aren’t experimenting with narcotics.