There are many different methods that parents, schools, and communities employ to increase efforts for drug prevention among teenagers. One of the most popular programs used in school is D.A.R.E. These methods have proven to show some positive results, but beyond the D.A.R.E. program, there are a number of ways parents can educate their children about the dangers of drugs.
Morningside Recovery Center therapists suggest that parents should take action in the following ways if they feel their children may be experimenting with illegal substances.
Teenagers Should Feel Comfortable Talking to Their Parents
Some teenagers have deep emotional issues and will turn to drugs as a way to escape their feelings. When a parent is able to allow their teenager to feel comfortable talking with them about any subject, there is a much better chance that they will turn to their parents before turning to drugs.
Random Drugs Tests Help Decrease Chances of Drug Use
Even if the parent doesn’t suspect their child of using or abusing drugs, this can be very effective. A teenager is less likely to try drugs when they know they could randomly be tested at any time. This also gives teens a great excuse when they’re being pressured by their friends.
Encourage Them to Join Sports Team or Other Extracurricular Activities, and Show Interest
Studies have shown that teens who keep busy by doing activities they enjoy are far less likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol. Parents should both encourage and show interest in extra-curricular activities to show their full support. While the child gains more self-confidence and self-esteem they will also learn how to become more responsible.
Parents Being Educated About Drugs and Addiction can Help Them Educate Their Children
Education about drugs and potential addiction can be one of the greatest tools in preventing drug experimentation. Although programs like D.A.R.E. attempt to do this, some children’s issues with authoritative figures can make this information often fall on deaf ears. Having a base of personal knowledge about the dangers of drug use can often be much more helpful to a teen when the information comes from someone close to them – especially if addiction runs in their family.
Ultimately, it is up to parents to ensure that their children are not experimenting with drugs. School programs may sometimes be effective, but they are rarely enough. Abstinence begins with a strong emotional foundation, and that is built at home. Following these tips is a good start to raising a happy, healthy child.