Wow, we have been so lucky to have so many guest bloggers lately. This week we welcome Trey Dyer, who is an advocate for drug abuse treatment. Thanks Trey!
Many parents ask themselves what they can do to protect their teen from the dangers of drug abuse. Often, the biggest factor in preventing a teen from abusing drugs is the type of relationship they have with their parents. More than one in five parents believe they have little or no influence on whether or not their child takes substances, and this is just not true. There are steps you can take to help keep your teen away from drugs and alcohol:
- Model Good Behavior– Teens and children in general learn so much from watching their parents’ behavior. Your own substance use, such as smoking cigarettes or even drinking a cocktail with dinner, does not go unnoticed by your teen. Studies show that teens who use substances mimic their parents’ level of consumption. Be mindful of this and try to avoid drinking or using any substances in front of your teen.
- Create a Caring Home Atmosphere– Teens often face elevated levels of emotions and distress and turn to their home environment for support, even if they do not blatantly show it. Creating a home that promotes good behavior and builds self-esteem for your teen can greatly decrease the chances of your teen using drugs.
- Talk to Your Teen Early about Drug Use- Numerous studies show that the lessons and values parents instill in their children play an important role in whether or not a teen uses drugs. The best way to instill these lessons about the dangers of drug use is to talk to your children early and often about using drugs, how you feel about them and how you would feel if your teen used drugs. Additionally, warning your teen about peer pressure to use drugs and providing ways to say “no” are other important subjects to address.
- Monitor Their Activities- Without being completely overbearing, keeping tabs on your teen’s whereabouts, their friends and their activities is an important step in reducing the risks of your teen using drugs or drinking. If your teen is acting suspicious or evasive about their plans, this could be an indicator that they plan to use substances.
- Enforce Consequences- Letting your teen know that drug and alcohol use is unacceptable in your household is crucial to deterring them from substance use. If you catch your teen using drugs or alcohol, enforcing reasonable consequences for their substance-use related actions can inhibit your teen from using drugs or alcohol again in the future.
Trey Dyer is a writer for www.DrugRehab.com and an advocate for drug abuse treatment. Trey hopes that by sharing his knowledge about drug abuse and treatment, he can help individuals battling addiction kick their habit for good.
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