Your teenage child has reached a particularly difficult stage in life. They have to go to school each day and make friends, establish an identity, and decide what things they love and what they do not enjoy.
They have to do all of this while they are still learning about themselves, and feeling immense pressure from others in order to fit in. This is one of the reasons why teens are particularly susceptible to the dangers of drug use.
Parents who communicate with their teens about the real dangers associated with using and abusing drugs and alcohol will have a better idea of whether this is a problem in their own child’s life. Being open and honest with your children will help them make good choices as they maneuver their way through adolescence and move toward adulthood.
Tips for Discussing the Dangers of Drug Use with Your Child
- Establish a welcoming and open family environment in your home. This will allow your child to feel comfortable with you if they need to talk about peer pressure or their friends who might have tried drugs or alcohol. Do not wait for your child to come to you, though. Rather, begin an open-ended conversation with your child and work toward an honest discussion. Begin the conversation with a non-judgmental question, such as “What do you think about drinking and using drugs?” You might be surprised by how open your child is with you.
- Make sure that your child knows that there are rules about drinking and drug use in your home. In addition to laying out the rules of the household, establish clear consequences and enforce them. If your child understands the severity of the consequences associated with their decision, they will be less likely to try drugs and alcohol even if their friends are making poor choices.
- Talk with your child about other ramifications associated with drinking and abusing drugs, such as the legal consequences. Explain that they will not only have to answer to their parents, but also to the law enforcement officers in the community. Let them know that they can lose their driver’s license, be forced to do community service, and even face jail time if they choose to drink or use drugs.
- Let your child know that all they have to say is “no.” It sounds simple, but many teens and adolescents truly do not know how to respond when someone asks them if they want to try drugs or alcohol. By explaining to them that they do not have to give a reason or any additional response other than “No thanks,” they will be prepared should they be put in that awkward and uncomfortable situation with their peers. Remind them that they should always talk with you if someone does ask them to try drugs and alcohol so that you can further your conversation about the importance of avoiding these activities.
One of the best ways to prevent teen drug abuse and addiction is to discuss the dangers and consequences of drugs and alcohol with your children. However, it’s important to understand that every teen is at risk for trying drugs and alcohol, so you should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of addiction.
If you feel that you need help, contact a professional at a recovery treatment center that specializes in teen treatment programs. There you will find the resources and support you need to get your teen on the right path once again.
To learn more about the danger of drug use and how we can help you overcome addiction, contact us at 877-466-0620.