Five Ways To Talk About Drug Abuse and Teens in Your Family

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Drug abuse and teens seems to be getting worse as time goes on. You may have heard the saying that if you don’t talk to your teens about drugs, someone else will. Drug abuse and teens is a touchy subject for many adults, especially parents. They don’t want to say something that may come across as offensive to their teen, but they also want to make sure that their kids are well-educated on the subject to avoid making costly mistakes in their life.

To help you talk to your kids about drug abuse and teens, here are five ways you can open up a conversation with them.

Five Keys To Having A Conversation About Drug Abuse and Teens

1. Look for signals

Your kids and teens may want to talk to you about certain things in their life, but sometimes, they are just too scared to bring up the subject. If you notice that your kid is a little anxious at times and you can tell that he or she wants to talk, be the one to initiate a conversation. You can start the conversation very casually; for example, “Hey, I’ve noticed that something seems to be bothering you. Will you tell me what’s wrong?” They may beat around the bush, but give them time. They are trying to find the words to say.

When they do finally open up to you, take advantage of that time to casually talk about drugs and alcohol. Make it clear that the topic is not taboo in your household and that you welcome questions and comments.

2. Someone becomes an example about drug abuse and teens

We don’t like to see friends and loved ones become victim to drug abuse, but if someone you and your kid knows becomes addicted to a substance, take the time to talk with your kid about it. They have a right to know what is happening and what they can do to help themselves and others.  Stay away from making rash judgments.  Make it clear that you support the person seeking treatment and help.

3. The old talk

You may have had a talk with your kid about the birds and the bees. Have a similar talk but make it about drug and alcohol abuse and teens. By now, your kid or teen has an idea of what it is and what it can do to people. Make sure you tell them about the dangers of abusing drugs.

4. Be willing to listen

The truth is, there is much more peer pressure about drug abuse and teens at school than there is at home. Your teens may look up to you, but the influences they have at school may feel at times to outweigh the influences they have at home. As a result, your child may make a mistake. If you find out, do the best you can to contain your emotions and talk with him or her about their actions. If they are sorry for their act, then it is the perfect time for you to be proactive about talking with them about drug abuse and teens and their future.

5. Tell them your story

Lead by example; tell your teens your story of when you were a teenager. Even if you haven’t touched drugs or alcohol, there may be at least one instance where you came face to face with making a decision.

Hopefully, these five tips will help you establish a meaningful conversation about drug abuse and teens.  The more they talk about it, the less likely it will be that they will fall victim to substance abuse.