All kids deal with peer pressure from their classmates. Even kids in elementary school may feel that they must meet the expectations of others or they are more likely to be bullied and such. The closer to high school they get, the worse it can become. The things they are encouraged to do as a way to fit in also increase, with substance abuse coming in high on the list for many teens. Therefore, as a parent, it is very important that you remain proactive in talking to your teen about substance abuse prevention.
Why You Need to Be Proactive
Kids have to deal with a variety of emotions that their brain isn’t always capable of dealing with. They are pressured into doing things; even if they know it is wrong. They are often teased if they do not follow what others say they should be doing. They can suffer from anxiety issues, because they worry about not being part of the group. When presented with drugs or alcohol, they may feel that they will be laughed at if they don’t give in and do what their “friends” want them to do. What will your child do? How will they handle it? If parents don’t know the answer to these two questions, then parents need to focus more attention on substance abuse prevention.
Parents Have to Talk About Substances
Prescription drugs and alcohol are both very easy substances for teens to get. Most parents enjoy a glass of wine or some other beverage, and prescription medications are tucked away in most medicine cabinets. Teens can easily gain access and then share with other teens. These drugs may look harmless. Alcohol is available at any liquor store, and doctors prescribe prescriptions. In the wrong hands, though, they can be deadly. Marijuana is also becoming easier to access since it is now legal in many states and other street drugs are readily available. Aside from the medical complications, drugs and alcohol also may cause an increased risk of mental illness.
Talking to Teens
It is a parent’s job to talk to teens about substance abuse. As a parent, you have to be in control and able to tell kids why it is important that they avoid substance abuse. Talk to them about the dangers of drugs and strive to always know where your child is, who they are with, and what type of activities they do. You should have access to their devices and make sure they know you will check it. Beyond this, you need to give them an easy out for tough situations. Have a plan in place that allows you to help them get out of bad situations. If you need help trying to figure out how to talk to your teen, you can find help! There are people who will guide you in the right direction. Contact Clay Behavioral if you need help talking to your child about substance abuse prevention.