Teenage Drug Abuse – How to Combat Poor Celebrity Role Models

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Teenage drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States and it doesn’t help that many celebrities and teen idols are seeing abusing drugs and alcohol themselves. If your teen’s favorite celebrity or celebrities have reputations for abusing substances, these tips can help you lessen their influence on your child and open the topic for discussion.

Stay in the Know about Which Celebrities Your Teen Admires.

Pay attention to who your teen’s favorite celebrities are and keep up with media reports to know if there is any need for concern. Celebrities from Amanda Bynes to Justin Bieber are widely-known for their regular substance abuse problems and associated arrests and legal woes.  When an incident happens, use that opportunity to speak to your teen about teenage drug abuse.

Speak to Your Teen about Teenage Drug Abuse.

Talk to your teen about the actions of their favorite celebrities and ask for their opinions about such inappropriate behavior. Have another discussion about the dangers of teenage drug abuse and all of the possible consequences – consequences that even celebrities are unable to escape – ranging from health complications to the risk of arrest and the destruction of their career and future.

Often the negatives of a celebrities drug and alcohol abuse are visible in the media coverage – use these as examples of what can happen, but don’t focus only on the fact that a celebrity is suffering from addiction.  Also discuss rehab and treatment with your teen as it may be likely that teenage drug abuse is already a part of your teens social circle – it is important that your teen understand that help is available.

Be Aware That Discouraging Your Teen May Have an Opposite Influence.

You do not want to ask or tell your teen to no longer support their favorite stars. Banning a specific artist’s music or an actor’s films or television shows will likely only upset your teen. Teens also have a tendency to be more curious about and more attracted to what parents forbid entirely. Give them the chance to make responsible decisions by showing them the difference between admiring a celebrity for their art or their style while remaining disapproving of their teenage drug abuse and scandals.

Celebrate the positives about their favorite stars and openly discuss the negatives. The point is not to judge or shame the celebrities based on their behavior but to wish them the best in the form of abstinence from drugs via a substance abuse and addiction treatment program.

Celebrate Independence.

An independent and strong teen who is a leader rather than a follower is much less likely to engage in copycat celebrity behavior – including teenage drug abuse. Explain that it’s great to celebrate their favorite stars’ admirable qualities but what makes a person special is their own personal qualities. We are all different people made interesting for our own individual qualities. Attempting to do as a popular person does won’t be the best path for him or her. The point is to be true to themselves and to explore their own talents, skills and abilities while understanding what is attractive about a celebrity and what is simply unacceptable.