International Overdose Awareness Day: 6 steps for parents to help keep teenagers away from drugs
Parenting is not an easy task, especially when children reach adolescence and prefer to live lives their way. Studies show that teenagers and young adults are more vulnerable to substance abuse. Therefore, it is necessary that parents share experiences that can help prevent teens from indulging in drugs and alcohol.
Worried guardians and family members constantly look for ways to discuss the issues concerning substance use/abuse by their teenagers. While the task of having to gain teenagers’ attention to such problems may seem daunting, parents can take the following steps to prevent their adolescent from dabbling in illicit substances:
- Supportive relationship begets strong bonds: Research has shown how a warm relationship with parents helps teenagers share their problems with greater ease. Nurturing a friendly relationship fosters trust and builds a strong parent-child relationship. This, in turn, makes it easier for parents to monitor the behavior of their teenager, in addition to discussing the prevalence of addictive problems around them. Teenagers can be made to understand the adverse effect of unbridled use of addictive substances and the need to stay away from them.
- Be an influential teacher: Since parents are the first and foremost teachers that influence their wards’ lives, their actions matter more than what they say. It is important for parents to live in a way that their actions match with what they constantly advise their adolescent. Parents should avoid drinking in front of children. Also, if guardians take medications, they should dispose of leftover drugs in a safe manner.
- Estimating risk level of teenagers: Living in families fraught with problems of substance abuse makes teenagers more prone to trying out illicit substances. In such situations, it is advisable for parents to watch out for any possible social or behavioral problems that their children may exhibit. In addition, it is advisable to seriously consider associated risk factors and remain alert for any potential untoward behavior of their adolescent children. Seeking help from experts is advisable if matters go out of control.
- Knowing about the kind of people children hang out with: The kind of company a child keeps or finds himself in has a lot to do with the habits they inculcate or exhibit in future. A company of smokers tends to coerce children into smoking out of curiosity. The same applies to use of drugs and alcohol as children tend to imbibe unwarranted habits that may result in them becoming addicted.
- Deciding on boundaries: Though it may seem like an old fashioned idea to set boundaries for children, psychologists maintain that kids including teenagers should be constantly monitored and reminded of the limits they must not cross for their own benefit. Strict parental monitoring keeps children away from the reach of addictive drugs.
- Discussing openly about drugs and alcohol: Effective communication opens the door to meaningful and healthy discussions. Conversations about the current pervasiveness of addiction problems helps children understand the consequences of dependence, apart from its adverse impact on one’s psychological condition.
Substance abuse among adolescents is a major problem in the United States. The rate of teen drug overdose deaths in the country increased by 19 percent from 2014 to 2015. Notably, most of the deaths involved opioids, including prescription painkillers and illicit drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl.
To raise awareness that overdose deaths can be prevented, August 31 is observed as the International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). In the U.S., health service providers and community care advocates emphasize the need to raise awareness about overdose problems and the need to act to avoid escalation of drug issues in families across the nation.
It is a nice feeling to see one’s children grow up. Children look up to their guardians. The practice of drug abuse prevention needs to start at home. It is easier for parents to advise their teenage children about the significance of avoiding drugs and alcohol only when they themselves remain sober.
Addiction to drugs can be treated. Sovereign Health is among the best rehab centers in the U.S. Experts at Sovereign Health’s drug rehab centers for teens understands the plight of a teenager suffering from an addiction to illicit substances. Our Rancho San Diego facility makes available a host of necessary treatment procedures and behavioral therapies for its patients. For more information about our teen drug rehab, call our 24/7 helpline. You may also chat online with our representatives for expert advice about recovery from drug abuse.