13 Tips for Preventing Teen Drug Abuse

13 Tips for Preventing Teen Drug Abuse

13 Tips for Preventing Teen Drug Abuse

More than half of all teenagers have misused a drug at least once in their life. For many of them, a couple of “innocent” uses can lead to serious addiction issues down the road.

Teenagers are faced with tons of social pressure every single day. Unfortunately, you can’t be with them 24/7 to help them make decisions, so it’s crucial that you set up the best environment for them and stay educated about drug abuse.

This article will give you 13 tips to help prevent teen drug abuse in your home. 

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Know the Risk Factors that Lead to Addiction

Unfortunately, drug abuse and addiction are far too common. More than 20 million Americans have struggled with addiction, but less than 10% have received treatment for it.

The best way to deal with it is through prevention, but to prevent it, you need to understand the different risk factors. It’s crucial to talk to your teenager about how serious drug addiction can affect their life. 

Several risk factors can lead to addiction:

Childhood trauma: If a child has experienced a severe and traumatic event, they have a much higher risk of turning to alcohol or drugs to help reduce the pain.

Genetics: Kids who are from immediate families that also have addiction issues are more prone to struggling with addiction themselves.

Environment: If a teenager is around other friends or family members that engage in drugs or drinking, they are much more likely to indulge in it as well.

Early use: The earlier a teenager begins using any narcotics, the higher the risk they are of developing an addiction.

Mental health issues: If your teenager struggles with issues like ADHD, anxiety, or depression, they might turn to alcohol or drugs to ease the pain.

Impulse control: Kids that have problems controlling their impulses have a greater risk of abusing substances.

2. Access to Substances

As mentioned earlier, a teenager’s environment is incredibly influential on their choices.

Take a look around the home that they live in. Is it easy to access liquor? The number one place that teenagers can access alcohol is right from their homes, so make sure to lock it up if you have any. 

Make sure to have a serious talk with them about the risks that come with drinking especially if they’re at the age where they’re learning to drive.

Teenagers that begin testing out popular prescription medications usually first look in their parent’s medicine cabinets. If you have a type of medication that can be abused, make sure to lock it away. 

3. Don’t Deny the Issue at Hand

No matter how smart, nice, or strong your child is, the truth is that no one is immune to alcohol or drug use. Everyone faces social pressure or curiosity at some point, so make sure you know that there is always a possibility of it happening.

A great way to keep teenagers busy is with constructive activities like music, hobbies, or sports. But just because they are doing well on the sports team or have a 4.0 GPA doesn’t mean they won’t come into contact with or aren’t already using illicit substances.

The best form of addiction prevention is communication. Just talk with them as much as possible. Let them know how proud you are of them and that you are always there for them if they need you.

Help them find something they are passionate about so that they can stay busy at something they love.

4. Don’t Resort to Confrontation

Continuing on the subject of communication, it’s important to know that you’re using the right form of communication. It’s good to talk openly and honestly about the realities of drug abuse not to use scare tactics and unrealistic threats.

Start a conversation don’t just confront them. Rather than saying “are you using drugs?” in an accusing manner, ask them if they know anyone that is using drugs, and how they feel about it.

It can be an emotional conversation, but keep your wits about yourself. Talk to them about the issue and be someone they can trust on the subject. If your child doesn’t want to open up to you, you can consider finding a therapist for adolescents.

5. Be a Good Example

It’s always important to remember that you are the number one role model for your teen. If you are constantly drinking or smoking, your child will think that that’s the correct way to live life.

Even if you have an occasional beer or glass of wine, it’s important to have them understand that you are an adult and the risks that come with it. Set clear expectations for what is allowed and what isn’t allowed.

For whatever rules you set, make sure you follow them consistently. If you allow them to have a sip of your wine one day and then yell at them about it the other day, the message will get lost in translation.

6. Be Aware of Marijuana Use

Marijuana doesn’t have the same stigma that it did just ten years ago. With legalization happening in many states, it’s important to know how it affects different people.

There are several forms of marijuana use, including smoking, edibles, dabbing, hash, and more. Techniques like dabbing and the use of extracts like shatter, wax, or budder can be significantly stronger and have damaging effects on a person. 

Even if it is legalized, it is still considered a gateway drug. Make sure you and your teens are informed about the substance.

7. Be Aware of Drug Code Words

Young lingo and codewords seem to evolve daily. It can be hard to keep up with so many different words, but try to watch out for any texts that involve code words that you may not know.

Some words that are used for cold medication include:

  • Tussing
  • Skittles
  • Skittling
  • Red Devils
  • Velvet
  • Triple C
  • CCC
  • Robotard
  • Robo-tripping

Some slang for marijuana includes:

  • Ganja
  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Mary Jane
  • Grass
  • Chronic
  • Blunt
  • Buds
  • Hootch
  • Skunk
  • Spliff
  • Ace
  • Dubie
  • Flower
  • Zig Zag

It might not be easy, but be aware of new trends and if your teenager is using any of them.

9. Know What Substance Paraphernalia Looks Like

If your teenager is using any type of drugs or alcohol, there will be signs of it everywhere, depending on where you look. Some common signs include:

  • Empty medical bottles or wrappers
  • Burn marks on their rugs and clothes
  • Ashes and smoke stench around them

Make sure to check pockets, cars, closets, under beds, and even the garbage can. If you use prescription drugs, make sure to count them regularly.

Other “tools” used to cover up drug use includes eye drops, incense, breath mints, and body spray. Other drug paraphernalia includes:

  • Pill bottles
  • Glass vials
  • Makeup bags
  • Glass pipes or bongs
  • Small plastic baggies
  • Cigarette boxes
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Lipstick dispensers

Teenagers can get creative when it comes to hiding substances. Make sure to be aware.

10. Know Your Child’s Friends

It’s important to know who your teenager hangs out with. The friends they keep around them say a lot about what they value the most. They are an integral part of a kid’s psychological well-being. 

With that in mind, ask your kids about their friends. Have them over at your house so you can see what their friendship is like. It can also be helpful to get to know their parents so that you can have open discussions about drug use and share any concerns you may have.

11. Contracts Can Be a Helpful Tool

Contracts can be helpful in your relationship with your kids, but only if you follow through on all rules. Make sure to make your expectations very clear to avoid any confusion. 

You can even allow them to join you to help brainstorm rules and boundaries that they should live by. If they’re involved in creating it, there’s a higher chance they will abide by the contract.

12. Know the Consequences That Substance Abuse Can Lead To

Addiction awareness means also understanding other consequences that it can lead to. Not only does it lead to drug dependence and health problems, but it can also lead to:

  • Poor judgment in social interactions
  • Unsafe sexual activity
  • Mental health disorders
  • Impaired driving
  • Lower school performance

Make sure both you and your child understand the consequences of drug abuse.

13. Use Positive Reinforcement

Again, know that your child will respond much better to positive reinforcement rather than constantly threatening or yelling at them. 

Embrace them when you see them and make sure they know how much you love them. A great tactic to use is to reward them for not abusing any alcohol or drugs. 

Let them know that healthy behavior will lead to rewards not only in your household but out in the real world as well.

Avoid Teen Drug Abuse

The best way to prevent teen drug abuse is to be informed about all of the signs and have a clear, healthy relationship with your child. Addiction can be a devastating disease that destroys families and lives.

But if your teenager is already struggling with drug abuse, there is always hope. At Sunshine Care Centers, they can receive some of the best support in a welcoming environment so that they can heal.

Reach out to us today.

Teen Rehab in Arlington, TX

At Sunshine Care Centers, we work hard to provide a clean and secure environment for teens to express their thoughts and emotions during treatment. We understand that addiction is experienced differently by everyone, but we are dedicated to safely guiding patients through the detox process and establishing a treatment plan that works for your individual teen. Don’t wait to get the help they need to reach thier recovery goals. 

Speak to a specialist at Sunshine Care Centers by calling 883-597-CARE or contact us to answer all your questions today! 

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