The abuse of alcohol and drugs can destroy families. It not only leads to lethal health issues, addiction, disability, but also a number of crimes. As the most vulnerable segment of our population, young people are particularly vulnerable. Parents play an integral role in preventing youth substance abuse and in supporting their children if they have already begun using. If we take the example of California, 90% of adults who consumed alcohol and drugs began using substances (including tobacco) before the age of 18. It is crucial to intervene and seek professional help at any stage of drug use. So, parents of these kids are advised to take their children to the best rehab centers in California.
But Why Do Teens Indulge In Such Activities?
Out of the hundred reasons for substance abuse, below listed are some:
- Socializing with friends
- Peer pressure
- Curiosity and experimentation
- Relaxation or fun
- An escape from pain or challenges
- To feel in control
While parents cannot completely prevent their children’s eventual exposure to substance abuse, certain measures can be undertaken to reduce the potential risks. Here are 5 ways to protect your teen from alcohol and other drugs.
Lay a good foundation
Initiate conversations about substance abuse in your household during the onset of their teen years. Parents’ disapproval can often be one of the strongest disincentives. Remind your teen that these rules are set because you love them and want to protect them. Follow through if those rules are broken. Instead of harshly imposing strict rules, give your teen a chance to talk about the rules, and then enforce them. Set limits and follow through. Build trust.
Monitor And Supervise Their Friend Circle
A strong predictor of substance use is peer groups and friends. Therefore, monitoring and supervising their friend circle and social engagements are crucial. Encourage your teen to befriend kids who might be a good influence on them. Discourages unchaperoned parties or other teen gatherings in your home. Whenever you are home, encourage your teenager to invite friends over. It will be easier for you to learn about your teen’s friends and activities as your teen is entertained at home more frequently.
Pose open-ended questions. Be prepared for all kinds of questions and responses. Instead of responding with anger try acknowledging it constructively. Having an equal and active dialogue will be helpful during a potentially turbulent time. Refrain from being judgmental. It is unwise to refer to your child’s friend who abuses drugs as a “druggie” or “junkie.” Used in this way, your child will feel defensive.
Monitor Alcohol And Drugs At Home
The truth is that the majority of drug and alcohol experimentation occurs at home, not in darkened alleyways. Keeping track of alcohol and medicines at home is a must. Make sure you store alcohol in a place that is out of reach, or better, lock it up in the cabinet. They are less likely to be tempted if it is out of their sight. Refrain from drinking before them. When hosting a party at home, keep drinks and alcohol separately. Make sure drinks are not left unattended.
Educatee Yourself And Stay Involved
Keep up-to-date with the types of addictive substances teens may encounter. Watch for changes in your teen’s mood and demeanor, shifts in their peer groups, and other indications. Establish an amnesty policy so that your teen can reach out to you incurring the regular repercussions he or she might have if they’d tried to hide. Dedicate a fixed portion of the day to them, learning about their school and other interests. Give your child the time they rightfully deserve. Often teens indulge in substance use to fill that void. Foster a healthy and loving relationship with your teen.
Adolescent years can be a challenging time. Teenagers are in the process of defining their identities and this can lead to them testing limits of parental control. Parents need to deal with sensitivity as pushing boundaries could be dangerous. Despite your 100% efforts, there’s no guarantee that your teen might not indulge in substance use. However, they’re less likely to run to extremes and more likely to make safer choices comparatively. Covey that you understand that teen years can be tough. Let your child know that you’re there to teach, guide, and support them. Tell them that you care about their physical and emotional well-being.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology, to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.