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How Can We Better Educate Teens About Illegal Substance Use?

Addiction Recovery

The teenage years are fraught with challenges. Young people struggle with their identity, interacting with authority, making plans for the future, and making good choices in the present. Drugs are often a part of the teenage experience to some degree. Even teens that never use drugs, will most likely get exposed to them in some way, or feel pressure to try drugs. The way that kids are educated about illegal substances and substance use will greatly impact their decision-making. The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics reports that 25.4% of illegal drug users actually have a drug disorder. Identifying kids with a propensity for drug disorders can also be important. Let’s learn more about effective ways to educate teens in this area.

Work on Relationships First

Although having a strong trusting relationship with your teen isn’t a magical formula for ensuring they never use drugs, it is a key piece of the puzzle according to addiction recovery service. Many teens turn to drug use because they don’t feel adequate security and fulfillment in their relationships. When parents, caregivers, teachers, and mentors are investing the appropriate time and attention into these young people, it reduces the likelihood of them turning to drugs or alcohol for comfort and validation.

Be a Good Example

Setting a good example yourself when it comes to substances is also vital. Although, again, this isn’t a magic formula, it helps. If young people are exposed to drugs and alcohol at young ages, and it’s a normalized behavior in their environment, then there’s little to stop them from trying it themselves eventually. At least if the adults in their lives are setting an example that this is unacceptable behavior, they’ll hesitate and think twice before engaging themselves.

Talk a Lot

You need to be having ongoing conversations about drugs with your teens. These conversations should be centered around what they’re being exposed to, what they’ve experimented with already, what they’re curious about, and what boundaries and consequences you’re setting in place.

Be Watchful

In addition to educating your child on drug use, you also need to stay on watch for signs that your child is using. Some common signs that could indicate drug use or drug experimentation would include uncharacteristic mood swings, behavior changes, drop in school performance, changing friendships, or changing appearance.

If you suspect your child is using drugs, here are a few things to keep in mind. Don’t rush into an impulsive reaction. Make non-intrusive efforts to identify which substances they might be using. Express your concerns calmly. Avoid issuing ultimatums initially. Attempt to further educate your child on the risks involved in their choices.

If you need help or would like to learn more about teens and substance abuse, please contact our addiction recovery service today. We at Peace Medical are here to help.

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