As a parent, one of the hardest things to deal with is watching your child struggle. Teens undergo a lot of pressure from school, friends, teachers, and more. In order to deal with some of these pressures, many teens result to using drugs. In fact, almost 50% of high school seniors have used and abused drugs of some kind. There are a number of factors that lead to drug use by teens. These can include availability, mental health, relationships, and even family history. When teens choose to use drugs, they are putting their safety and health at risk. It is crucial to protect your kids from using drugs at any age of their life. In order to do this, here are some tips for preventing drug use among your teenager.
Understand The Risk Factors
When trying to prevent your teenager from using drugs, you must first acknowledge any risks that make your teenager more susceptible to drug use. If your child has experienced a traumatic event, they are much more likely to turn to drugs to help overcome the feelings they are experiencing rather than someone who has never experienced a traumatic event. You also want to be aware of your child's mental state. Teenagers who suffer from mental problems like depression or anxiety are likely to use drugs over those who do not have a mental illness. Those who have a family history of drug addiction are also more likely to try drugs. By knowing the factors that make a teenager more likely to use drugs, you can be more on guard should your teen face any of these.
Communicate With Your Teen
It can be very difficult to know what your child is going through if you aren't communicating with them regularly. Set aside time to talk with your child each day and make sure to discuss drug use regularly. It is important to refrain from lecturing and instead have a two-way conversation with your teen. During the talks, be sure to get their perspective on teen drug use. Your teen will see messages on the media showing that drug use isn't all that bad and sometimes it will even be glamorized. Go over some of the ways drug use is portrayed and explain the consequences of using the drugs to avoid making it seem glamorous.
Be Ready To Answer Questions
Your teen is going to look to you as a leader. If you have a history of doing drugs, it is important to be upfront and honest about your past. If you did drugs in the past, explain to your teen how drugs affected you in a bad way. If you chose not to do drugs, give them the reasons why you made that decision. By preparing your answers ahead of time, you will be ready to give a more effective answer should your teen ask you about it.
Drug use and chemical dependency of any form can be a difficult issue to deal with in any family. For more information on how to deal with potential problems, talk to a professional in your area.