Effective Strategies to Reduce Substance Abuse in Teens

Lessening the Chances of Teenage Drug and Alcohol Use

As a parent, one of the worst things to discover about your teen is that they are experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Teenagers are at a particularly vulnerable stage in their lives where they may feel pressure from friends to ‘fit in’. Oftentimes, ‘fitting in’ means trying drugs and alcohol. The teenage brain is still in a transitional period of growth and the interference of the substance of abuse can hinder the development process as well as the individual’s intellectual performance.

The reality is that close to 80 percent of teens have been offered illegal drugs and half of those who have been offered, try them. The pressure to fit in is hard for some teens to deal with and many of them feel as though trying and using drugs or alcohol will help them create a larger social circle. Informing these teens about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse can help them make more informed decisions as it relates to experimenting with substances of abuse.

Consequences of Drug Use at an Early Age

It’s important to stress to teens the severity of the use of drugs or alcohol on their developing mind. The early use of drugs and alcohol have been linked to intellectual developmental delays which could inevitably affect the natural progress of development.

Some of the long-lasting consequences of drug and alcohol use are:

  • Mental health issues  
  • Losing close ties with family and friends
  • Physical appearance declines
  • Not performing well in school
  • Getting in trouble with the law

It’s important that as a parent, sibling, or close friend, that you recognize the early signs of substance abuse before they worsen. If you notice that someone close to you is becoming increasingly secretive in their whereabouts or seem to be constantly preoccupied for reasons unknown, it may mean that they are hiding a drug or alcohol habit.

Speaking to Your Teen

Speaking to your teen about the dangers of drug use in a rational and logical manner will allow them to comprehend the gravity of this habit. Through education as well as parental involvement, individuals can better understand the consequences of drug and alcohol use. When speaking to your teen about drug and alcohol use, it’s important that you do not approach the matter in a lecture-style delivery as this will only create skepticism in your teen. Be realistic and rational and let me relate to what you are saying.

It’s also important that as a parent, you set the right example for your kids. This means refraining from smoking and drinking as kids pick up on everything and if you are their role model, you must exhibit guidance.

Early use of substances is possible with the right education and guidance. With the right knowledge base, teens will have the capacity to make informed decisions as it relates to peer pressure and the pressure to try drugs or alcohol. Speak to your teen today about the hazards of substance abuse.




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.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.