Tips for Preventing Teen Drug Use & Abuse
December 2nd, 2015
The David Lawrence Center and Crossroads Rehab Center are committed to restoring and rebuilding the lives of those affected by substance abuse in Collier County. One of the ways we can help to lower drug abuse is through preventing teenagers and young adults from using drugs.
Today, it is quite easy to associate teens with the use of substances such as marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco. Although many parents consider the use of these substances as inevitable, what parents say to their preteens really does matter. Research shows that teens actually listen to their parents, especially during the younger teenage years.
Parents should encourage their teens to refrain from the use of any substance. Every drug comes with consequences and negative side effects that can affect a teen’s brain development and social skills, and impact their future. Preventing teen drug use is possible. Here are four ways to influence your preteen or teen to refrain from the use of drugs:
- Education – Educate teenagers about the harmful effects of drug use and abuse. By providing credible information to your teen, they will be able to see firsthand what drugs can do to a person and how they can affect the lives of everyone around them. Make sure to use education and knowledge in a strategic way and avoid being condescending when doing so. If you educate your teen in a thoughtful way, you can make the difference when the opportunity to use drugs presents itself.
- Discipline – As a parent, you provide financial and emotional support to your teen and therefore have authority over what they are allowed and not allowed to do. Set boundaries and curfews so that their behavior is less likely to be influenced by peers and drugs. By placing ground rules in your home, and following up with what you say you will do, your teen will believe what you say and will respect your commands. Make sure your teenager understands that you are setting these boundaries with their best interest at heart.
- Consequences – Once you have educated your pre-teen about the harmful effects of drug use and abuse, it is important to be clear about the consequences they will face if they do not obey your rules. Various forms of consequences may be applied, but sharing with them how drugs can lead to jail and prison time can influence your teen’s decision to not use drugs. “Grounding” and other punishments such as taking away electronic privileges are also known to be effective.
- Testing – if you are suspicious of your teen using drugs, do not be afraid to test them. By drug testing your teen, you will be able to know for sure if your teen is using drugs. If the drug test results are positive, it is time to take action. In order for your teen to understand that the use of drugs can destroy a person’s future, they will need experience the appropriate consequences for their actions.
For more information about preventing teen drug use and abuse, contact the David Lawrence Center today for expert information and substance abuse counseling.