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Talking to Your Kids About Substance Abuse, Part 2

Fatherhood, Health, Parenting, Substance Abuse

Talking to Your Kids About Substance Abuse, Part 2

talk to kids about addiction part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we
talked about how to talk to kids about drugs and alcohol and some of the dangers
inherent in drug and alcohol abuse.

How To Prevent
Your Child From Using Drugs and Alcohol

It is most likely for someone to start
trying drugs during their teenage years which can lead to drug or alcohol
addiction and other health problems as adults. There are a wide array of things
a parent can do to help prevent your teen from participating in substance
abuse, here are a few examples: 

  • Establish
    an open line of communication.

    Whether or not your teen has questions, they may not want to approach you
    because they fear your reaction or that they’ll be in trouble for asking.
    Having an open line of communication that works as a judgment-free zone can
    help teens feel comfortable discussing substance abuse and possibly help
    prevent it.
  • Try
    to speak their language.

    A short follow-up text to your teen can do a lot. You don’t have to use
    shorthand texting language. And if you’re really uncomfortable texting have
    your kid teach you to use the speak-to-text option on your phone. Sending a
    text to your teen can remind them of your conversation and that you are on
    their side.
  • Become
    more involved in their day-to-day.

    Spending quality time together has been shown to reduce the likelihood that a
    teen will misuse drugs and alcohol. Spending time with your child, and giving
    them your full attention can do wonders. Turn off the electronics and really
    listen to what they have to say.
  • Establish
    clear rules and enforce them in a fair manner.
    Teens need rules. Rules and
    regulations give them structure and helps make them feel safe and loved.
  • Be
    the example.

    Teens look up to their parents, whether they acknowledge it or not. Parents
    play a very influential role in how teens see and react to the subject of
    substance abuse. Show them how to handle stressful situations, so they know
    what to do when they are faced with the same issues.
  • Teach
    your kid how to refuse drugs and alcohol.
    Teens usually start abusing drugs or alcohol because they
    want to fit in. Run through a few role-play scenarios with your kid and teach
    them ways of saying “no” when someone offers them drugs or alcohol. Teach them
    that people who pressure them to do things that make them feel uncomfortable or
    are not good for them may not be good company to keep.

Treatment for
Kids Struggling with Substance Abuse

If you suspect that your kid is
experimenting with drugs or alcohol, or that their drug use is starting to
escalate, it may be time to seek
help. Talk to a counselor at your child’s school, or reach out to a substance
abuse counselor. 

In some cases, kids may have been
abusing substances longer than you think, which may mean that they are already
in need of formal substance abuse treatment. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment
programs are commonly available.


The Mayo Clinic—Tween and teen health

Institute on Drug Abuse—Help Children and Teens Stay Drug-Free

Bluffs Rehab –

Photo by Dmitry Ermakov on Unsplash

Author: Brooke Powell

Brooke Powell is an independent writer who frequently writes on substance use disorder. She has a passion for breaking the stigma around addiction and mental health issues with informative and reliably sourced content. When she isn’t creating content, she loves to get lost in a good book or puzzle.

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