Substance abuse at a young age can lead to a number of consequences, and some of them can last a lifetime. To protect your offspring from the dangerous “experiments” with alcohol and drugs, use every available method. Some of the listed 18 tips can be helpful.
1. Know what your child is doing
Make sure you know where your son or daughter is at all times. Encourage them to get involved in outside activities after school, such as sports, hobbies, or jobs.
2. Get to know your child’s friends
It can be challenging to prevent your teenage children from falling into the wrong company. But if your offspring spends time with someone who smokes cigarettes or use illegal substances, they are likely to try it, too. Encourage your son or daughter to have more than one group of friends. Otherwise, you may need to look for some “inpatient drug rehab near me”.
3. Help to deal with peer pressure
Teenagers are most likely to fall victim to peer pressure. They fear rejection and possible isolation due to unwillingness to smoke cigarettes or take opioids. Dispel the myth that being drunk or high is not cool and it can’t make them more popular.
4. Talk to your teen
Perhaps, the most important thing parents can do to teach children to make the right decisions is to talk to them candidly about drugs, from an early age. Don’t wait until you suspect your child may be using some substance to initiate a conversation. When talking, mention the facts like the risks, overdose statistics, drug rehab centers near me, etc.
5. Set clear rules and enforce them rightly
Children, and especially teenagers, need rules. Learn them what is safe and what can get them into trouble. Make it clear that you disapprove alcohol, vaping, nicotine and drug use. Tell them leave a party if they are persistently asked to try it. Also, warn them against riding in a vehicle with a drunk driver. If you find out about breaking some rule, enforce an appropriate consequence.
6. Be a supportive parent
Balance any consequences with positive encouragement. Prize and motivate your child when he or she accomplishes something.
7. Be a good role model
As a parent, your attitude toward substance use has a great influence on your child’s probability of drinking alcohol or taking drugs. So, drink moderately, don’t smoke, don’t use drugs. If you use prescription medication, do it exactly as your doctor has recommended.
8. Make your home a safer place
One in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. Know what you have in the house. Keep track of medications, especially prescription drugs, and alcohol.
9. Be honest about your own drug use
Your child may ask you whether you’ve ever used drugs. If you’ve never done it, explain why. If you did take drugs, share what lessons you’ve learned.
10. Develop close family ties
Healthy and strong family relationships are proven to be helpful in preventing substance abuse among troubled youth.
Show interest in your daughter’s/son’s daily life. If they trust you, they can share their problematic substance use at the earliest stage. The earlier you visit drug counseling near me, the more successful treatment is likely to be.
11. Create healthy habits that strengthen your family
Practicing a proper diet with exercise can prevent substance use and addiction. Staying healthy and active gives your brain and body more energy and cheerfulness. This helps to cope with stressful situations which, in turn, weakens the temptation to rely on alcohol and stress during tough times.
12. Reduce the time your child spends on a tablet/phone
The electronic often interferes with communication. Even at the dinner table, youngsters (and sometimes adults) are staring at the screens of their gadgets.
Set “no gadget” times, like family activities, dinner, or bedtime. Make an agreement with children to avoid electronics during these events. Follow these rules yourself, too.
13. Encourage your community to prevent alcohol and drug abuse
When a school district and a local community create awareness of teens’ substance abuse and make efforts to educate youngsters on the issue and promote a healthy way of life, this problem decreases in the area.
14. Get your kids involved in extracurricular activities
In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking, and drug use have been dramatically cut in the past 20 years. This is linked to a wide range of after-school activities and close monitoring of the teens’ time – who they communicate with and what they are doing in and outside of school.
15. Cope with stress
Stress is one of the reasons why people of all ages start drinking alcohol or take some drugs. Of course, we can’t withdraw from the world and totally eliminate stressful occurrences. But we can notice when someone’s emotional tension is growing and provide support so that that person doesn’t turn to substances.
16. Seek treatment
If a teen admits to taking drugs, parents shouldn’t overreact. Throwing a scandal can prevent him or her from speaking honestly about it. It’s important to understand whether their drug use was happened one time or it’s already a problem. If necessary, seek for a reputable “drug rehab near me”.
17. Seek help for mental illness
Substance use can mask or cause such emotional problems as mood swings, anxiety, depression. You may not know that your child is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Before making inquiries on “drug rehab centers near me”, visit an addiction specialist. Maybe you’ll need a rehab that treats co-occurring disorders.
18. Keep them busy
Boredom is a common trigger for those who return to their daily lives after treatment in rehab. If your teen child doesn’t show interest in standard activities, consider volunteer opportunities or an after-school job. Such useful experience can make young people more responsible and help develop new skills. Plus, they stay exposed to other adults.
Preaching and lectures are often not effective. Try these non-assertive ways to help your teen make healthy choices and avoid using drugs.