Help teens while their brains develop
As your teen begins to gain self-confidence and follow his or her own agenda, your job as a parent gets more challenging. Teens can be prone to unpredictable and sometimes risky behavior – including experimentation with drugs – during this critical time. But you're still the biggest influence in your teen's life.
Studies which track attitudes toward drugs reveal that one of the most critical influences on kids’ decisions about taking drugs is the input of parents. In fact, kids who say they learn a lot about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs.
Steps in Preventing Teen Drug Use
Research suggests that brain development continues throughout the teenage years into the early twenties, and that drug experimentation during this time is more risky to the still-developing brain than previously believed. However, there are many steps you can take in preventing teen drug use.
Help your teen stay safe and make healthy decisions by:
- Keeping the lines of communication open,
- Setting clear limits, and
- Being directly involved in his or her everyday world.
It’s important to talk often, listen regularly, and communicate clearly that you do not want your teen using drugs. In addition to following the steps in preventing teen drug use listed here, you can encourage your teen to spend time with positive role models, including peers, family members or other influential adults. These key influencers can help your teen avoid the dangers of drugs and reinforce the benefits of healthy, drug-free living.-------------------