Children are often the silent victims of drug abuse, and even if they can’t stop their elders from taking it, they can, of course, start doing it.
A recent poll suggested that parents have the greatest effect on their children’s substance abuse problems.
Almost half of today’s youngsters say their parents are the most important factor in drawing them towards drugs and alcohol. The same percentage said they don’t have a great relationship with their parents.
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Why Do Teens Use Drugs?
Teen drug use and misuse can be caused by a variety of circumstances. Alcohol and cigarettes, which are freely accessible, are frequently used for the first time in social settings.
Insecurities or a need for social recognition may motivate continued usage. In addition, teens may believe they are not that vulnerable to drug exposure, causing them to take unsafe drug risks.
The following are some of the most common risk factors for teen drug abuse:
- A history of substance misuse in the family
- Feelings of social rejection or low self-esteem.
- Depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
- A history of stressful occurrences, such as being involved in a vehicle accident or being abused.
- Risk-taking or impulsive nature.
Impact Of Teen Drug Use
- Drug addiction is a severe problem. Teens who abuse drugs have a higher chance of developing a severe addiction later in life.
- Drug use among teenagers is linked to poor judgment in social and personal relationships. They also have poor decision-making skills that make them more vulnerable to fall victim to other social traps.
- High-risk sexual activity, unsafe intercourse, and unintended pregnancy are all linked to teen drug use.
- Drug abuse can exacerbate or heighten the risk of mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety.
- Driving while under the influence of any substance impairs a driver’s motor abilities, endangering the driver, passengers, and others on the road.
- Academic performance might suffer as a result of substance abuse.
How To Prevent Drug Addiction?
It is indeed unfortunate that your teenager is suffering from drug addiction at such a young age. However, there are some tips you can follow to prevent this situation, such as:
1: Be Aware Of Their Activities
Always be aware of what your adolescent is doing.
Monitoring their locations, who they spend time with, what they do in their leisure time, and their social media accounts are significant measures to lower their risk of drug use.
You may inform your adolescent that you’re watching these things because you want to make sure they’re safe, not because you don’t respect their privacy.
2: Talk To Them Openly
It’s difficult to talk to teenagers.
But, you must maintain regular and open communication with your kid, even if he appears aloof. Simply let your kid know that you are always willing to listen.
According to research, parents who practice strong listening skills communicate with their teenagers in a non-judgmental and compassionate manner and provide practical advice to their teenagers in a healthy way.
3: Make Some Rules For Them To Follow
You may have a compassionate and open connection with your child while imposing rules and consequences, which may seem paradoxical.
In fact, being caring and establishing limits will boost your teen’s probability of following them.
You want your adolescent to be healthy and safe, so stick to the guidelines, and studies regularly reveal that teenagers do not want to disappoint their parents.
4: Make Them Trust You
Establish a foundation of trust. You may build trust by constantly being willing to listen to your teen and encourage open interactions with your teen.
In stressful times, he will want to come to you. If you can give them the support they need in those rough times, they won’t likely seek refuge in drugs and drinks.
Remember that kids who believe their parent is harsh, judgemental, or untrustworthy are more inclined to disobey the rules.
5: Know Your Child’s Friends
You should know who your child’s friends are. You can better picture your child’s possible drug exposure by getting to know his pals.
Make your home a welcoming location for your teen’s pals to meet instead of sending him to a friend’s house every weekend.
Establish regulations, but also create a loving environment in which they will want to spend time. Keep your distance and observe their activities from afar.
6: Educate Yourself
Parents should be well-informed and up-to-date on the many forms of addictive drugs that their children may come into contact with.
Even during an opioid crisis, many parents do not have all the information regarding harmful prescription medicines.
More than 40% of teenagers say they have never discussed heroin or prescription drugs with their parents. Hence, you must know all about teen addiction before confronting him with the problem.
7: Know What Your Child’s Hobbies Are
Take a genuine interest in your child’s hobbies and passions.
Try to take an interest in whatever your child enjoys, whether it’s sports, video games, music, politics, or art.
Show respect for any pastime your child enjoys, and ask plenty of questions to encourage him to keep participating in these good activities.
8: Eat Dinner Together
Eat at least one of the meals in the day with your family. This apparently insignificant deed can significantly influence your child’s probability of engaging in drug usage.
Make dinner discussions light and upbeat.
Make use of this time to listen to your teen and learn about his hobbies, schoolmates, and current events. Remove any distractions from the table, such as cellphones, to ensure that everyone is fully present.
9: Be Actively Present In Their Lives
Make a concerted effort to remain active. Continue to be active and watch your teen as he grows older and more autonomous.
Teenagers’ risk of using drugs increases as they mature. Today’s average age of starting drug usage is 17 years old.
Just because you were close to your child when he was 13 or 14 doesn’t mean you will stop those efforts now when he is 17. Be consistently present in their lives to prevent drug addiction.
It can be difficult for parents to get through to teenagers since they are typically preoccupied with their social standing and peer opinions.
It is especially difficult at an age where underage drinking has become so common and many drugs are seen as legal and safe.
This is why so many parents believe it is nearly difficult to keep their children away from drugs.
But, if you follow our tips, you will find an entry point in their lives that will help them stay away from drugs and alcohol.