Protecting our children from drugs and alcohol abuse is one of the most important parts of parenting. Knowing how to protect them and when to protect them is often a difficult and overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure you're setting a good example for your teens. There are ways to teach them how to say no and why substance abuse is bad.
Prevention Tips | Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Charlotte NC
As parents, it’s often hard to believe that your children are at risk of drug or alcohol addiction at a young age. Sadly, the possibility of it happening is very real. Forming a drug addiction or alcohol dependency can happen to kids as young as 12 years old. It’s understandable that, as a parent, you might not know how to approach the subject of drugs and alcohol use with your children. Below, you’ll find a few tips that can help you guide your child in the right direction.
Prevention Tips For Parents
Encourage teens to become involved. There are tons of clubs and other extracurricular activities that deal with sports, art, music and more in school. The more kids are active, the less time they have to hang out in places where peer pressure and substance abuse issues arise.
Teach them to say no confidently. Fear of rejection from friends can be a huge issue for teens. If they're confident in their decision to be their own person, they'll be ready to say no when the time comes. If teens aren't sure of their choice, they might forget what's right and wrong in the moment. Help them to understand why drugs and alcohol are bad. Give them the information they need to say no. Also, be their constant reminder that it’s 100% OK to just say no. If friends are pressuring your teen to do something that can harm them, remind them that real friends won't do that. Your confidence in this matter will help to boost theirs, as well.
Set strict family rules. When dealing with drugs and alcohol, be sure to set clear, specific rules about why prevention is necessary. Also go over with them the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction. Enforce the rules you set and make sure there are consequences that come with breaking the rules. Sometimes, our kids might say no for fear they'll lose their car keys or spring break trip. That's OK.
Lead by example. Many times, kids who use drugs or alcohol blame it on the fact that they've seen their parents use. The old adage “Do as I say and not as I do,” isn't always the best words of advice. It's easier for teens to see their parents refrain from using drugs or alcohol, even in a social setting. It’s not practical to stay completely away from drugs and alcohol, but it is important to follow some ground rules. Only drink in moderation. Use your prescription drugs as directed and inform your children that they’re prescribed to you and not illegal.
There are many different symptoms of substance abuse in teens. Sharing this information will help reinforce the reason for saying no to drugs or alcohol.
- Excessive sleeping
- Glassy eyes
- Mood swings
- Unpredictable behaviors
- Inexplicable weight loss or gain
- Puffiness around cheeks and eyes
- Smoke or alcohol smells on the skin, hair or clothing
To learn more about how substance abuse can affect teens, visit with our previous blog post, here.
There are also ways to teach your teens how to prevent substance abuse. It's possible that they end up in a situation where drugs and alcohol are present without their knowledge of it, beforehand. That's why teaching them to say no is key. Also share these tips with your teens so they'll be able to handle this problem, should it arise.
Prevention Tips for Teens | Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Charlotte NC
Make good choices. Deciding whether or not to use drugs or alcohol is a choice. The problem is, once you fall victim to substance abuse, it’s possible you’ll develop a dependence on it due to genetics. If you have a history of drug or alcohol addiction in your family, you may not have a choice when it comes to deciding whether or not you’ll continue to use drugs or alcohol socially. You might end up with an addiction after the first try.
Take control of your life. It’s important to make sure you are responsible for your health, safety, and life overall. Make the commitment to be drug and alcohol free. Also, don’t be the person that overlooks your friend’s issues. Work with your friends and family to speak up about the issues you see with drug and alcohol use in your community and encourage others to do so, as well.
Avoid situations that might lead to peer pressure. Sometimes, hanging out with the wrong crowd can immediately lead to substance abuse issues. Even if you hang for only a little while. Know who you’re spending time with. Know the location where they’re going to expect you go. Know what they’re doing away from school. Avoid anyone that uses drugs or drinks alcohol. It’s OK to make new friends if you suspect that your current friends are falling victim to substance abuse. Do whatever it takes to avoid any type of situation that leads to peer pressure in order to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen to you.
Don’t be afraid to get help. If you or someone you know needs help with drug or alcohol problems, don’t wait to get help. There’s always someone that you can talk to. There’s always someone that can help.
We hope this information helps you and your teenage son or daughter with prevention of substance abuse. The dangers of using drugs or alcohol at a young age is serious. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our substance abuse treatment centers in Charlotte NC. We are here to help.
Legacy Freedom | Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Charlotte NC
Regardless of how bad your teen’s drug use has become, help is always available. With combined support from family and Legacy Freedom, you are not alone in this, recovery is just around the corner. Help is a phone call or visit away. Contact Legacy Freedom to learn about drug rehab that is tailored to fit the needs of your teen so that they're able to learn how to rejoin life, drug-free.