Peer pressure is one of the most common causes for teen addiction, but in truth there are a number of different contributing factors that can drive a teen to abuse an illicit substance. Teens can quickly turn to drugs or alcohol because they need help coping with stress, peer pressure, school, family life and other things that are weighing on them. If you think that your teenaged child might be particularly vulnerable to the effects of peer pressure and that they may turn to substance abuse for help, then realize that there are steps that you can take as a parent to help them out.
Preventing teen substance addiction is definitely well within your power as long as you are willing to do a little research, arm yourself with the right information and throw yourself into the problem with a willingness to help.
Knowledge is power so we have listed some helpful tips below to help parents and guardians to try and dodge teen substance abuse before it begins.
- Lock up all of the medicines in your home. This is going to be beneficial for everyone involved, whether it be a guest visiting your home or a child or teen in your home. If you keep your medications put away and locked up, then nobody can abuse them.
- Make sure that all of your alcohol is locked up. You should never wait until a bottle of liquor goes missing or liquor goes missing from the bottles. Deal with the problem before it becomes a problem: Hide the alcohol now.
- Trust your judgment. If you are feeling like there is something amiss, then the odds are good that you are right. Question your judgment, act on your worry and figure out what is going on that is making you feel so unsettled.
- Seek advice either from a professional or from someone that has experience dealing with teens. These professionals are going to be able to tell you what the signs are for teen drug addiction. When you know how to understand the behavior of your teens, and when you know the warning signs and what to watch out for, then that is when you can truly be vigilant about your teen and drug addiction.
- Be aware of who your child’s friends are, and become acquainted with their parents. It is important that everyone works together in order to make sure that nobody in the group is abusing a substance. Work together to check up on the teens in the group and make sure that when they say they are participating in an activity together, that they are actually where they claim to be.
- Consider why your teenager might start abusing a drug. Kids often abuse substances for the same reasons that adults do. Something is probably causing them to suffer if they are turning to substance abuse for coping. It will be important for you to determine what these underlying causes are in order to truly eradicate the substance abuse problem.
- Avoid trying to be the best friend to your teenager. You are their parent, you are not their best friend. The truth is, as much as you might think that your teen would like for you to be their best friend, what your teenaged child really needs is a parent who is going to parent them.
- If your teen is holding something that they claim is for a friend, the odds are good that your teen is making an excuse. They are giving you this line to shed the blame for having a drug or paraphernalia, but the truth is, the friend they are holding it for is probably their own self so do not fall for this line unless you have a legitimate reason to think your teen is giving you the truth.
- Do some research on other types of self destructive behaviors that your child might be engaging in. These may include eating disorders and cutting for example. If your teen is engaging in any of these behaviors, then it is essential that you understand that they are not going to go away on their own, and you are going to need to be willing to help your child get some real professional help for the problem in order to get over it.
- If home life is a struggle and things seem unbearable, then you might need to admit that you need more help than you can reasonably provide. Families sometimes need outside support and help in order to deal with defiance and opposition. If you and your teen are struggling to find some common ground or are fighting in a constant manner, seeking help from professional counselors can be an excellent first step in the right direction.
It can be hard to admit that something like this is going on. Realizing that your teen might be susceptible to substance abuse can be hard to confess, and it can worry you and stress you out. Luckily, there are plenty of steps that you can take in order to keep your child straight and sober. The best thing that you can do is to be vigilant as soon as possible and as much as possible so that your teen is not really given a chance to turn to drugs, alcohol or other substances for abuse.
As a parent it is going to be your duty to keep your child on the straight and narrow when it comes to substance abuse.
It can be overwhelming, but there is no one else in your teen’s life who is going to help them get through this but you, and the sooner you accept this the sooner you will be able to help your teen with their addiction or substance abuse problem.