Drug Prevention Tips for Parents and Guardians

Addressing drug use is something that is never easy for a parent/guardian when it comes to their child. However, with young adults between the ages of 12-25 being more likely to use illicit drugs than adults over the age of 26, it is imperative that parents begin to take preventative efforts towards drug use among their teen(s). The following tips are from “A Parent’s Guide to Teen Drug Abuse Prevention”:

Establish Guidelines: Setting expectations is an essential element of drug abuse prevention. As a parent, it’s important to speak to your children on regular basis and let them know what you do and do not find to be tolerable behavior. If your children know that it would greatly disappoint you if they even tried drugs, they may be stronger in their ability to avoid peer pressure to use. Discussing the types of drugs and the associated dangers will also take the mystery out of use and can help prevent your teen from trying a drug he knows little about.

Monitor Teens: Even the most well-intentioned teen can fall prey to peer pressure, which can feel overwhelming. To monitor your teen, you need to know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Even when you are not physically present, you can still track their behaviors. It is possible to monitor your teens through:

  • Phone calls
  • Random trips home earlier than expected
  • Having neighbors watch for visitors during hours when you are away
  • Monitoring levels of prescription drugs in your home, if any
  • Looking for changes in your child’s habits and/or friend groups

Make Consequences of Drug Use Clear: It is important for your teenagers to know there are consequences to their actions. If your teen breaks the rules, you need to enforce the guidelines that you have established. Also make clear the types of common consequences of drug use and addiction, which can include:

  • Harsh legal penalties for possessing and using drugs
  • Physical health problems, which can be long-lasting
  • Mental health issues and even brain damage, depending on the drug and amount of use
  • Strained relationships
  • Increased risk of blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis
  • Financial instability
  • Academic issues