Teaching Your Teen About Drugs and Alcohol
It’s sad that teenagers today can easily get their hands on drugs and alcohol. Though you may feel uneasy, it’s essential for you to educate your teen about drugs and alcohol openly.
Avoid Making Incorrect Assumptions
Irrespective of your home life or personal background, it’s erroneous to assume your teen won’t abuse alcohol or drugs because there aren’t any signs of troublemaking. Anyone aged 21 years and above can drink, and though illicit drugs are prohibited, teens will be exposed to alcohol or drugs one day. Recovery Village says that annually, teen alcohol abuse causes almost 200,000 ER visits and 4,300 deaths amongst teens under 21. Statistics also reveal that most teens have either been offered drugs, used them, or are familiar with someone selling drugs.
Have a Frank Conversation About Alcohol and Drugs
From openly talking about the adverse outcomes of alcohol and drugs from your teen’s early age to having age-appropriate discussions about substance abuse and answering questions about alcohol and drugs honestly, you should do them all.
Once your child reaches adolescence, discuss substance abuse, its possible consequences, and the harm caused by prescription drug abuse.
Since teens learn the best with examples, find examples from movies and television shows where substance abuse is shown and discuss their impacts in real life. You can also share personal stories or incidents of someone you know who has suffered due to substance abuse, as these can teach your teen valuable lessons.
Leverage Role-Playing Scenarios
Peer pressure still exists and is one of the most widespread causes that push teens to abuse alcohol and drugs. Even if your teen appears to be unwilling to talk about peer pressure, you should discuss it nevertheless and teach him/her about the best possible ways to deal with different situations. You can try role-playing scenarios to teach your teens how to say “no” or decide their course of action if they’re in a risky situation and require help.
Use Multiple Resources
A lot of resources are available for your use to teach your teens detailed information about drugs and alcohol. You can find age-appropriate materials with the school counselor’s help or locate useful books, videos, and other resources online that have been designed for the purpose. An example is WebMD, which has an extensive and credible online directory of resources.
Set Up a Safe Ride Plan
Though you need to set clear rules and consequences concerning alcohol and drugs, you should also set up a safe ride plan with your teenager. Make sure to let your teen know they can dial you or someone else you have complete faith in to seek a ride if they ever require one, without any admonishment or questions.
As many teens abuse drugs and alcohol, it’s prudent to chalk out a plan for having a conversation with your teen on the matter. But this isn’t something you can do once and forget about. This conversation should be an ongoing tête-à-tête, which will constantly remind them to act responsibly all through their teen years.