Ways to Reduce Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Teens
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you are probably going through a trying time. After all, there is a lot to worry about – especially in this day and age with the opioid and heroin epidemics.
One of the many things to worry about is the potential for your teen to fall into alcohol or drug abuse. There are outside influences at school, activities, in the media, etc. So as a parent, it is important to be a positive influence on your teen.
Ways to Reduce Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Teens:
Now realistically, a child will never tell his or her parents everything, but there is a way to get the main gist of what your child is in to. Talking with your teen about his or her day will keep an open line of communication. At least if you have this line with your child – they will (even if you don’t think so) take what you say into consideration.
When you open these lines of communication – it allows your teen to talk with you when he or she needs you. And when your child does come to you – listening is key. If you are too strict or overbearing, then the line of communication will not exist anymore. But just remember – it is never too late to open the lines of communication. Communicate the effects drugs and alcohol on his or her health. Also, if you have family history of addiction, share this.
#2. Set Boundaries
It is important to let your child know the limits, boundaries, and responsibilities expected of him or her. Let your teen know early in life what is expected. It is also important to follow through with consequences when responsibilities are not upheld. Remind your children to respect themselves and others. Remind them to focus on their ultimate goals – and not draft into drugs and alcohol. And don’t forget to praise your child when he or she is following the rules.
#3. Be Available
It is so important for a child to know his or her parent is there. Even if your teen has taken drugs or used alcohol in the past, be there for him or her and always tell them how much you care. Be available when they call to say they have been drinking and need a ride home. It is always a better alternative than drinking and driving.
#4. Be a Role Model
Your attitude influences your children. For example, if your child knows you drink or use drugs, he or she will have a higher risk of using them as well. According to Alcoholrehab.com, A child, who has parents who drink or use drugs, is two times more likely to abuse them, especially if he or she does not see the negative consequences.
Don’t forget to have conversations with your teen in a loving manner, set specific boundaries, and be available whenever he or she needs you. Remaining a positive influence in your teen’s life will relieve stress for you and could very well prevent them from getting in to drugs and alcohol.