Preventing Substance Abuse in the Youth – 6 Tips for Talking to Teens about Addiction
One of the best ways to fight addiction, especially in the youth, is through education. The more that teens know about the dangers of drug abuse and how addiction works, the better protected and prepared they will be. According to the Partnership Attitude Track Study, out of the 9,000 adolescents in the study, 75 percent wanted to know more about drugs and alcohol from their parents. However, it can be difficult to communicate something this important to a teen as a parent. In this article, we will look at tips for talking to teens about addiction.
Why Talking to Your Kids about Drugs is Important
Even though it may seem at times that the things you tell your children fall on deaf ears, a 1998 survey suggested that the ant-drug abuse messages from parents reduced the risk of kids trying or becoming addicted to drugs. The study showed that only around 26 percent of the children smoked marijuana. Those who weren’t told ant-drug messages by their parents had up to 45 percent more chance of smoking marijuana.
Looking at all drugs, children who don’t have anti-drug talks at home are twice as likely to abuse substance as those who were frequently told about the danger of drugs.
Now that you know how much of an effect your words have, we will discuss how to talk to your kids about drugs.
Tips for Talking to Teens about Addiction
The best tips for talking to teens about addiction are as follows.
1. Make your views clear – One of the tips for talking to teens about addiction is to be clear where you stand on drug and alcohol abuse. You can tell you child that you are not using drugs, but then also tell them why you choose not to. For example, you don’t use drugs because you love your child, they are dangerous and it is against the law to use drugs.
2. Make it emotional – It is a good idea to bring stronger emotions into the talk. Make it clear to them how disappointed you would be if they were to take drugs. Before doing anything risky, children often have the thought “What would my parents think?”
3. Set clear consequences – Any rule that you make you also have to enforce. Talking to teens about drugs and alcohol should be with clear limits in mind. Decide the punishment and let your kids know the severity of the punishment. There should be no confusion as to what will happen in the rules aren’t followed.
4. Remind them of the cost – Substance abuse carriers with it a heavy cost. By explaining just how much it would cost in a year to sustain a habit, it can deter use.
5. Focus on the immediate dangers and side effects – A child will respond better when you explain what the immediate consequences on their health could be if they abused drugs. How to talk to your kids about drugs should be about what could happen within a few hours or days from taking a drug, not long-term effects. It could be as simple as smoking causes bad breath.
6. Praise their determination – Talking to teens about drugs and alcohol can also be achieved by praising their determination to avoid substance abuse. For example, “I’m proud of the way you’ve stayed with your principals. It takes real courage to stand alone in a crowd.”
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.