Talking To Your Teenager About Drug Abuse In Teens

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Drug abuse in teens is a concern that many parents in America. With statistics indicating that nearly 23% of high school seniors have smoked marijuana in the past month and more than 6% smoke marijuana daily, parents who may not have thought they had reason for concern are increasingly in need of ways to talk to their teenage children about the dangers of drug use and abuse.

It can be difficult to talk about drug abuse in teens, especially if your teenagers seemingly do not want to discuss anything with you, but that doesn’t mean it is not important to bring it up.

If you are a parent who has noticed sudden behavior changes in your teen, such as loss of interest in favorite activities, spending time with different groups of friends and secretive behavior, no time is too soon to sit your teen down for a talk about drug use. While some people view teenage experimentation with drugs as innocuous, marijuana can be a gateway to trying other drugs. Over 14% of high school seniors have used a prescription drug for non medical reasons in the past year, with the most commonly abused drugs being Vicodin and Adderall. Other signs of drug abuse in teens can include money or prescriptions going missing.  You should not wait for these signs to speak to your teen, instead bring up drug abuse in teens regularly in your house so that your teenagers feel comfortable speaking to you about what may be going on in their life.

Drug Abuse In Teens: How To Intervene

For parents who are worried that their teens are already using drugs, intervention must be immediate. It is important to approach the matter from the point of view of a loving and concerned parent, but to emphasize that continued drug use will not be tolerated. Ask your child honestly if they have engaged in drug use. If they admit it, convey the fact that you are there to help them through emotional support and, if necessary, rehabilitation. Do not yell or make snap judgements, that will only make it more difficult to have open conversations.  Remember that your teenager is still your child, and it is your responsibility to protect their health and wellness.

Even if you don’t suspect drug use, talking to your teenager about drug abuse in teens is extremely important. While friends and peers are talking about or experimenting with drugs, it can be easy for your teen to feel pressured or influenced into drug experimentation. It is important for them to understand that even experimenting with drugs can lead to serious substance abuse issues and dependence that can affect the rest of their lives as well as the people around them. Helping your teen to understand the importance of staying focused on their future and their health by explaining the potential consequences of drug abuse in teens is a great way to keep your teen away from drugs and to help them to discourage their peers from drug use as well.

Remember that opening the discussion about drug abuse in teens is your responsibility, do not expect your teen to initiate the discussion.