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According to a survey done in 2018, almost 28% of the teens from 8th to 12th grade used some drug whether prescribed or illicit. Substance abuse in teens has been an increasingly alarming situation over the past few years and has parents worried for the safety of their children.
Parents are one of the most important influences in a child’s life and children look up to them as role models for almost every situation, and might imitate their behavior. Which is why, parents can play a very important role in preventing drug abuse in teens. Surely all parents are concerned for their children and want to help them avoid any dangerous situations. They should look out for all possible symptoms of addiction in their children and make sure they understand the risks from an early age.
If you’re a parent struggling with how to prevent substance abuse in your teen, here are some important points that can come in handy:
1. Communicate From an Early Age
It is said that prevention of drug abuse starts at home. And an important part of that prevention is having open communication with your child about the dangers of drug abuse as soon as they are about to enter their teens. This can help build a sense of awareness in the children and build a strong foundation of resistance against illicit drugs.
Among many other reasons, teens start using drugs when they feel sad or lonely. Good communication from parents and/or individual therapy sessions where children can talk about their problems and lives can prove to prevent drug abuse.
2. Set Limits
Teaching self control and responsibility to children is really important and setting limits might be one useful way of doing it. Setting limits is also a great way of teaching children about the importance of following rules and making decisions on their own. Make sure you set clear rules about things as little as screen time, bed time or other tasks and present a list of consequences that the child will have to face in case they don’t follow through. You can ensure your child’s safety by teaching them to make informed decisions on their own when needed. Do regular check-ups to see whether the kids are following the rules you set or not, and make sure to follow up with the consequences.
3. Careful Supervision
Being aware of your child’s activities outside or inside the house is important. What people do they hang out with or what places they visit should be in your knowledge at all times. Parents can set up simple rules such as a curfew, or providing the contact number of a friend they hang out with regularly. Supervision can help prevent substance abuse if any suspicious behavior is spotted early on. Parents cannot be oblivious of their child’s activities for the sake of their safety. It is a constant duty until the child is old enough to make decisions on their own and differentiate right from wrong. When you are at work or outside running errands, make sure that you know your child’s schedule and keep checking on them at various times not only for avoiding any suspicious activities but also for the sake of their safety.
4. Keep Track of Prescription Drugs
A majority of teens get addicted to prescription drugs starting from Xanax or Adderall, that are available at home. Prescription drug addiction is one of the most dangerous forms of addiction because your body starts to depend too much on the drug for its normal functioning. A teenage mind is still growing and this can seriously hinder their development process. Make sure to keep a track of what prescription drugs were brought into the home and how frequently a refill was required. Being observant is key!
Parents can play a fundamental role in preventing substance abuse in teens by building confidence in their children and finding ways to make communication easier. While being strict and setting limits is important, make sure that you are not being rigid or making your child feel like they cannot communicate with you because they would have to face strict punishment for minor mistakes. Parents are role models and can greatly affect the development process of their children. Make sure you set a good example!Follow me on social media for more!
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