Ways You Can Prevent Teenage Substance Abuse

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Substance abuse prevention among young adults is a process that should begin before they become teenagers and continue throughout their adolescence. By using a mix of approaches, from education to setting good examples, to enforcing consequences, you’re giving your teen the tools he or she needs to make good decisions when you’re not around.

The cornerstone of drug and alcohol abuse prevention is education. When your child is in elementary school, he or she should learn about the dangers of drugs in simple terms. If it comes up in television or movies and your kids have questions, they should be answered honestly. As they get older, more detailed information can be discussed. Use every opportunity to talk about substance abuse. If a popular celebrity is in trouble because of drugs, use that as a jumping off point to open up the discussion. Empowering your teenager with honest, real information about drug abuse can help him or her understand the damaging consequences.

Be sure to go over the risks of drug and alcohol abuse with your teenagers. Let them know that there are real consequences to using drugs and drinking, such as:

Car accidents
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is putting everyone at risk, including other drivers. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 people die every day in a car accident involving drugs or alcohol.

Unsafe behavior
Teens under the influence are more likely to engage in dangerous activities such as fighting or having unprotected sex, which can lead to STDs or unplanned pregnancies.

Health issues
Drugs can impair development, cause memory problems, and damage organs. Teenagers are still growing, so it can have more damaging effects on them.

Risk of dependence
Teenagers who use drugs at an early age are more likely to develop an addiction problem later in life.

As a parent, your behavior can also influence your child’s opinions about drugs and alcohol. If you set an example that it’s okay to smoke marijuana or drink heavily, then they will think it’s okay for them to do it. Address your own issues if you have them, and then talk with your kids about them. Drinking in moderation isn’t illegal, nor does it mean you have a problem, so be sure to explain that to your teen as well.

Make sure your teenager is hanging out with a “good” crowd. Influence from peers is a major reason teens start experimenting with drugs or alcohol. If you know their friends are not interested in those things, then you can feel confident knowing your teen is making good decisions. Talk with the parents of your teens’ friends about your stance on drugs and alcohol and make sure they’re on the same page. Some parents give mixed messages to their kids by allowing them to drink at home, so you may need to address those situations before they arise.

If you find that your teen has experimented with drugs or alcohol, don’t give them a pass because it was the first or second time. Punish them appropriately so they will understand that you are serious about what you’ve been telling them, otherwise they won’t take you seriously in the future. Make sure they understand that you won’t tolerate that behavior. Ask why they did it and see if you can help them avoid being faced with that type of situation in the future.

Alternative Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Raleigh NC

Substance abuse can become a problem for anyone at any age. If you need to get sober, our center for alcohol and drug rehab in Raleigh NC can help. We offer outpatient therapy in a safe, caring environment. At Legacy Freedom of Raleigh, we also offer customized treatment plans to meet the needs of the individual because we don’t believe that “one size fits all.” It's about real recovery from addiction, not just a 12-step approach. Call us today.

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