Drug abuse has been a constant issue among teenagers. As they grow up and try to mingle with others, their chances of getting caught up in the wrong crowd increase.
As a result, parents had to go through several measures to ensure that their kids wouldn’t have to request the assistance of a drug lawyer because of a drug-related crime. Though this could be a challenging task to do, it’s not entirely an impossible feat for parents.
Why do teens use drugs?
There are various reasons why a teenager would start depending on illegal substances, but the most common cause could be pointed out to extreme peer pressure in social settings.
On another note, a person could also develop this addiction if they have a family history of substance abuse, suffer from behavioral or mental health conditions like anxiety, and have been through a traumatic event in their lives.
Now, as parents, what can you do to discourage teens from using drugs?
Offer parental support
A significant number of people reported that one of the primary reasons behind their drug addiction is the lack of support from their family, which could eventually lead to the individual’s demotivation to perform their usual day-to-day activities.
Later on, this situation could encourage them to become more impulsive both in their decisions and actions, harming the people around them as well as themselves in the process. Soon after that, the temporary comfort from using substances would make them dependent on them.
So, if you’ve noticed that your teen has displayed low self-esteem or observed that they were often rejected among their peers, then you must provide them with genuine support to lift their spirits.
This includes having a proper dialogue about the dangers of substance abuse and offering your shoulder during their tough times. Getting involved in their life could potentially decrease the risk that the idea of drug use would even come to their minds.
Fortunately, you could do this by spending time with the whole family on a quick vacation or through cooking together. Though, sending positive affirmations their way could also make them feel loved and cared for, given that it’s a reminder that someone out there is worried about their well-being.
Enforce clear and fair rules.
Rules are excellent in establishing the appropriate attitude and actions in a household. Still, when it invades a person’s privacy and is used as a means to disrespect someone, then it could quickly become a poison in creating a harmonious family.
Although keeping track of your kid’s whereabouts could be beneficial sometimes, it could also make them feel too restricted, leading them to turn to drugs as a way to regain their freedom and rebel against you. In this case, it’s not recommended that you put tabs on them, yet you’re still free to be wary of everyone they associate with and their activities.
If you want to create rules that are fair to everyone involved, it’s highly suggested that you invite your child to communicate their wants and needs with you. Similarly, it would be best to be transparent with the set of responsibilities you expect your teenager to do, making them understand that the rights they would enjoy have their own consequences.
More importantly, be honest with the possible punishments they’ll receive if they violate the conditions you both agreed to. Let them know that despite making a mistake, they still should call for your help so you can work together in solving the issue.
In the long run, this approach increases the likelihood of teenagers disclosing any addiction they got themselves into, so parents could immediately seek a professional for their child.
Make them feel safe.
When your teenager doesn’t feel safe in your home, they will find a place where they could drop their guard, even if that’s with the company of drug addicts.
As their parent, you should ensure that your children are comfortable sitting at a table with you. So make sure that you’re always a good role model in their eyes.
These days, many people are prone to showing aggressiveness when faced with stressful or difficult situations. It could be as subtle as taking your anger out on your child, or it could be as severe as throwing objects in their direction. No matter which angle you look at it, the circumstances only plant fear within them.
Once you’ve observed that you’re gradually becoming moody, you must use healthy coping mechanisms before handling the situation in front of you. For instance, you could try to meditate or do yoga for a change.
Last but not least, don’t forget to ban people who abuse drugs from coming into your home to minimize the risk of them persuading your child in the same activity. Additionally, keeping track of any medications around the house could prevent the occurrence of substance use.
Teenagers could be complicated most of the time, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need you. If you’re their guardian, then you have to keep an eye on their welfare, so don’t turn a blind eye to any subtle negative situations that could push them down the rabbit hole.
“Prevention is the cure,” as they say. But it would only work if both parents were involved in their child’s care.