Most teens are confronted with different drugs during teenage years. Whether at home, with friends, or at school, teens face situations that require them to make the choice to use or to avoid drug abuse. Common drugs that teenagers are confronted with include alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine.
Unfortunately, some teens opt to abuse drugs without considering or understanding the ramifications of their actions. But, parents and guardians should play the role of influencing their teens not to abuse drugs. In addition to being their influencers, there are ways via which parents can prevent teenage drug abuse.
Preventing teenage drug abuse is very important considering the increasing numbers of teenage that are abusing drugs. According to a Youth Risk Behavior Survey by the Centers for Disease Control, 72.5% of teens in high school had drunk alcohol at least once in their life. 41.8% of all responders had drunk alcohol the previous month. 24.2% of teens had engaged in binge drinking.
The survey also indicated that 46.3% of the teens had smoked at least once during their lifetime while 19.5% was currently smoking. 26% of the responders reported using tobacco in some forms. Additionally, 20.2% of the surveyed teens were abusing prescription drugs while 11.7% of the teens were using inhalants to achieve a high feeling.
It is such statistics that should get parents and guardians worried about their teens’ exposure to drugs. Early drug abuse increases the risk of addiction. Thus, if parents do not prevent drug abuse by teens early, they may end up in teenage drug treatment centers (find out more).
Why Teens Use Drugs
Teenage drug abuse is not something that parents and guardians can anticipate. You can’t just look at your kid and realize that they will face drug or alcohol abuse problem. However, research indicates that there are risk factors that increase the chances of drug abuse among teens.
They include the following:
- Lack of adequate parental supervision
- Aggressive behavior at an early age
- Academic problems
- Mental health issues that are not diagnosed early
- Drug availability
- Peer drug use
- Child abuse
- Peer rejection
These are some of the factors that increase the chances of teen drug and alcohol abuse. If some of these factors continue from childhood to adolescence, they are likely to lead to youth drug abuse. It’s therefore important for parents to seek help at teen rehab centers if they notice drug abuse problem in their kids early.
Ways to Prevent Teenage Drug Abuse
As a parent or guardian, there are several preventative steps that you can take to ensure safety and health of your teen when it comes to alcohol and drug abuse.
They include the following:
One of the risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse among teens is inadequate parental supervision. Some teens end up with drug abuse problems when seeking a company or a sense of belonging. To prevent this, talk to your teens openly. Let them know who they are, what they should do and what they shouldn’t do. Allow them the freedom to express themselves with ease. This will make your teens comfortable and they will approach you when faced with the challenge of choosing to abuse or not to abuse drugs. You might not think that your teens have alcohol or drug abuse problem but having this conversation is still important. Do not assume.
When it comes to having boundaries with teens, it’s important to make expectations known. Let them see that you are serious. Make consequences of abusing drugs and alcohol known to your teens. Once teens have broken rules, making them again is difficult and you might even have trouble deciding on the punishments for offenders. Therefore, maintain a stable relationship and be positive when making rules. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that maintaining a supportive, close relationship with guardians or parents leads to higher chances of delayed drinking among teens. On the other hand, a very distant relationship or a relationship filled with conflicts increases the chances of drinking or drinking-related issues among teens.
Be an Example
You may not realize it but teens are constantly learning from you as their parent or guardian. If you heavily depend on drugs or if your social life revolves around drug use, you are setting a bad example to your teens. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, children whose parents binge drink have higher chances of binge drinking too. Additionally, they have higher chances of becoming addicts in their teenage years if their parents had the same problem. Basically, teens are likely to abuse alcohol or drugs to find out if they will have the same seemingly positive impacts on them.
You can know if teenage drug rehabilitation is necessary only if you are available and close to your kids. Being available allows you time to talk to teens and know the problems they are facing. If kids can’t reach you when faced with problems, they may turn to drugs to relieve their stresses and pressures. Therefore, make teens know that they can always count on you. The knowledge that you are just a phone call away can prevent teens from engaging in alcohol or drug abuse. It will also prevent getting in bad company that can lead to drug abuse.
Dealing with Teens Addiction
If you realize that your teens are already addicted to drugs, seek help as soon as possible. It’s however important that you talk to your teens first and encourage them to be honest with you. This will enable you to know the level of addiction or stage of the problem. Focus on the behavior of your teens and spend time with them discussing the alcohol and drug abuse issue. If certain that your teens are already addicted to drugs, seek teen rehabilitation for them. While undergoing rehabilitation, support and encourage them to overcome the problem so that they can lead a sober, drug-free life.
The Bottom Line
Parents and guardians can prevent teenage drug abuse by talking to their teens about alcohol and drug abuse. They should have this conversation whether their kids are already abusing drugs or not. A conversation on alcohol and drug abuse between parents and teens will enable teens to make informed, healthy choices when faced with situations that tempt them to abuse drugs. Thus, talking to teens can be all you need to avoid taking them to a teen drug rehab center and problems associated with drug abuse.
About the Author:
Thanush Pousen is a Danush bloger who explores various social topics. Prosperity of the future generations is the writer’s main focus. Thanush aims to make teens more aware of the challenges they face every day to be ready right them back.