January 30, 2008 —

If you have teenage children, you are probably quite aware of the online social network, MySpace. Even if you have younger kids, the name is likely familiar. Over the last few years, the community has amassed millions of users who post pictures, share stories, make friends, and connect with each other.

While most of the information that is passed between users is designed for accepted friends, some parts of the network can become public. Your children may be able to find stories from other people about different pastimes, including over-the-counter drug abuse. Because of this, social networks like MySpace have become one of the most popular online vehicles for discussing cough medicine abuse.

If your children are using MySpace (or Facebook and any of the other social networks), make sure you talk with them about how they should and should not be using the network. Emphasize the trust you have in your children, but also make sure they know you are looking out for their best interest.