Today, more and more teenagers are experimenting with drugs at an early age. Therefore, parental awareness is key to a life without addiction. Unfortunately, for too long now, parents have risked their children’s physical and mental well-being by operating under the belief that their teen would never touch drugs. We are here to tell you that, whether or not you choose to accept it, drug abuse in teens is incredibly common. Therefore, it is important not to allow your child to develop self-defeating habits as a result of ignorance.
Of course, believing that your teenager is a strong-minded individual capable of refusing peer pressure is a testament to your good parenting. However, even the best people can make wrong decisions. More importantly, the decision to use drugs can lead to lasting consequences.
For these reasons, parents must learn the best ways to prevent drug abuse in teens.
Drug Prevention Begins at an Early Age
As soon as children can walk and talk, parents can teach positive lessons to help develop a healthy self-image. For example, demonstrating the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of one’s personal hygiene are excellent ways to teach your child that they must respect their body. When a child understands these foundational principles, they are less likely to begin harmful habits in the future.
Be Your Child’s Safe Place
Teenagers are not likely to admit to their parents that they have tried drugs. However, establishing a relationship with open communication from an early age can help in deterring drug use before it begins. By becoming your child’s safe place, they will be more likely to make you aware of instances of peer pressure. At which point, you can discuss the dangers of drug use. Being their safe place will also help you make a plan for keeping them away from such influences.
You’re Their First Role Model
The most common drugs teenagers use are marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol; however, these gateway drugs can lead to more severe drug use in the future. If you consistently abuse such substances in front of your teen, they are much more likely to experiment themselves. Therefore, as a parent, you must set a good behavior model for your child to follow.
Learn to Spot Potential Teaching Opportunities
It is impossible to completely remove the presence of alcohol and other dangerous substances from your teen’s lives. Needless to say that all forms of media contain elements of drugs. Rather than attempt to shelter your children by restricting their access to explicit television and other media, use such instances as teaching opportunities.
Consistency Is Key To Preventing Drug Use
From an early age, set clear rules pertaining to drug use. There will come a time when your teen approaches you and begins questioning why some of their friends drink and use drugs. In this instance, remind them that your family’s rules do not allow for illegal activities such as using drugs. Furthermore, make your teen aware that there will be serious consequences anytime they break these rules.
When in Doubt
Unfortunately, substance abuse in teens is a very real issue. Therefore, it is essential to prevent drug use before it ever begins by instilling positive lessons and methods for refusing drugs when offered by peers.
If you have noticed signs of your teens using drugs yet they assure you that they are not, you may have to consider conducting a drug test. While a positive drug test may be your worst fear, the process of seeking professional help for your child can finally begin.
If you are in need of quality and reliable drug tests, at Soteria Screening Laboratories, we can help. Reach out to us today at 2026796670!