How to Keep Teens Away From Drugs and Alcohol
Mon, April 19, 2021

How to Keep Teens Away From Drugs and Alcohol

Its never too late to influence teenagers to get out of the alcohol and drug addiction / Photo Credit: belchonock via 123rf

 

The innocence one experiences in childhood eventually ends. As children grow older, they are exposed to the realities of life. Some might become productive and successful, while others can drown in substance abuse, which would make anyone's life complicated. However, parents can definitely do what they can to prevent this from happening.

Many people assume that addiction is just a rite of passage that everyone experiences sooner or later. The harsh reality is that addiction and substance abuse are often rooted in something more disturbing. Though it is possible that they are just experimenting in their youth, addiction, in any form, is always dangerous if not treated immediately.

Understand their situation

Let’s say that, as a parent, you make sure that you always spend time with them. You could talk to them everyday and know all their friends. The truth is that teenagers can still find a way to confide in other people who will understand their situation more than you do. 

Drug Abuse.com, the online resource of American Addiction Centers, states that many teenagers, especially those who might be having trouble making friends, have a higher tendency to use drugs and alcohol to make themselves feel more confident or included in a social group. This behavior should be differentiated from direct peer pressure because it is rooted in the need to connect and make friends with people who are known for using these substances.

Aside from that, teenagers are naturally curious. There will always be an urge for them to explore and try new things. Soon, they will start experimenting with substances such as drugs, alcohol, and even cigarettes. Teenagers know that these are not good for their well-being, but they won’t readily believe that something bad could actually happen to them if they continue abusing it. 

 

Understading a teen's situation may lessen their urge in addiction / Photo Credit: Katarzyna Białasiewicz via 123rf

 

Talk to them as soon as possible

According to Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice and research, early adolescence is when most children are eager to experiment with a lot of things, including alcohol and other substances. This is why it is advisable to have a conversation with your kids as early as possible. 

Educating them about the dangers of the harmful substances around them will let them know how to make good decisions, and avoid the risks connected to them. Talking with them will also make them steer clear of the myths and misconceptions about drinking and drug use.

Teens often think that using these substances can make someone happy, satisfied, or popular. Carefully explain to them that these can only make them “high,” and this can cause sadness and behavior issues once the effects of that "high" wear off. 

Teens might reason that they are pressured to try these substances because their friends tell them to. Listen to them and talk about how they can steer clear of peer pressure. You can also try appealing to your teen’s self-respect, and explain how teenage addiction can have severe consequences.  

Make them understand that there is no purpose for addiction. They might think that it is a “now or never” situation, and that they should “live young, wild, and free.'' Explain to your child that the results of teenage addiction can follow them even as adults.

Build their self-confidence

Once a teenager feels that their self-worth and independence are jeopardized by their own parents’ unhealthy criticism, they’re more likely to succumb to substance abuse and other harmful vices. Health Hub, a mobile app that provides information about health and wellness, reported that providing encouragement for your teen is a step in building their confidence. 

 

Making teenagers believe that its never too late to "divert" could possibly boost their confidence / Photo Credit: Katarzyna Białasiewicz via 123rf

 

A confident and sensible child will know how to remain firm even though their friends push them to drink or use harmful substances. There is no harm in giving praise to their good deeds, and this little act can result in the growth of their self-esteem. Also, prevent setting expectations for them that are impossible to reach. Avoid comparing your child with other people around them. 

Comparing them with other children will lower their morale and self-worth, which might just make them less motivated to learn. If your child excels in and enjoys certain things, encourage them to explore these strengths by allowing them to experience different activities and hobbies. Make them feel like they should be proud of the things that they have accomplished. 

Keep them busy

Set up activities for them that are healthy and might interest them. Talk to your kids first in order to know what kinds of things they want to take part in. Letting them do the things that they enjoy can steer them away from boredom, which is the most common reason why many teenagers start to experiment with harmful substances. 

These activities that you choose to do can be both affordable and meaningful. These can also be used as a bonding experience for the whole family, bringing you all closer together.