Being a parent is not always easy. When talking about drug and alcohol addiction, you probably have so many questions you want to ask. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) conducted a survey in 2001 and reported that 1 out of 5 adolescents ages 12 to 17 had already used illicit drugs.
Prevention programs for substance addiction among youth are proven to be effective. However, families, especially parents, are the ones who have the most influential people when it comes to determining how teens handle the lure of drugs, alcohol and cigarette use. Various studies have proven that parents who are open with issues of alcohol and drug addiction have children with a lesser percentage of substance abuse in the family. If parents and the society will be able to prevent substance abuse among youth, we can prevent substance addiction.
The following are some tips that can help parents and the community in preventing the growing problem of substance abuse among young people.
Spend more time together – Food does not only bring the family together in the table; family meals can have bigger significance. It is an opportunity for parents and children to spend some time together, have some conversation, build connections, and establish firm bonds. Sitting at a dinner table together with your kids and sharing a meal while actively listening to them makes them feel valued and loved.
Discuss the consequences of abusing drugs or alcohol – Avoid frightening strategies. Make your kids understand about the harm and danger that substance abuse can bring into their life, including their health and appearance. Let them understand that even a kid can develop a drug or alcohol addiction.
Involve other people – Talking to a teen about substance abuse is challenging, but keep in mind that you don’t have to do it alone. There are many individuals that can help you have an effective conversation with your teen. These individuals may include school counselors, addiction counselors or a family doctor. Additionally, you can also join support group meetings that talk with families and teenagers who are recovering from addiction.
Be aware of what your kids watch – Setting a limitation about the movies that your kids watch can be effective. It is because of the fact that most adult movies contain smoking, drinking and taking illicit drugs that may encourage the teen to start using as well.
Get involved in the teen’s life – Make sure to stay involved in the life of your teen. Be familiar with his/her friends. Set and apply limitations and curfews. Encourage to participate more in school activities as well as those healthy activities outside school such as playing sports. Moreover, it can be also helpful if you will pick a particular time during the week to ask about your teen’s feeling and thinking without sounding like interrupting.
Being a parent is a tough and a great responsibility. However, parents must know that educating their kids about substance addiction is also one of their responsibilities. Parents must keep in mind that all their efforts can result in positive behaviors in their kids later on. We hope that the tips we provided helps parents to make their job a little easier.