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Preventing Drug Abuse in Teens

Written by Brandon Okey. Mina Draskovic, B.Psy., reviewed this content for accuracy.

Drug abuse and addiction know no limits when it comes to age. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that some children, as young as 12 and 13, can begin abusing drugs. It is essential to know the risk factors and become familiar with the red flags of adolescent drug abuse so you can work to stop it from occurring. Read more below about how you can help prevent drug abuse in teens.  

Common Drug Abuse Risk Factors in Teens

There are many factors and influences that may lead to teen drug abuse. Substances such as tobacco and alcohol may be easily accessible to teens and might around social settings. It is common for the use of these substances at a young age to lead to further drug abuse that may become addictive.  Adolescents wishing to be accepted by their friends or are feeling pressured by their peers may try drugs or another substance. Drug abuse can also come from feelings of inadequacy or insecurity and those dealing with low self-esteem. Thrill-seeking and risk-taking teens that behave impulsively are more likely to try drugs. A teen is more at risk of trying drugs and other substances if there is a family history of abuse and addiction. Children can inherit a genetic predisposition for addiction. Research has shown that children and teens with parents who abuse drugs and other substances are more likely to try them and may develop an addiction themselves.  Teens dealing with mental, physical, or sexual abuse may turn to drugs to cope. Teens suffering from a mental or behavioral health condition (depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD, etc.) are at a higher risk of drug abuse.  

Preventing Drug Abuse in Teens

Here are a few ways you can help prevent your teen from abusing drugs   Talk About It — Have an open, on-going conversation about the topic. Do your best not to make the topic taboo. Doing so may deter or hinder your teens from talking. Ask your child about their perspective and thoughts on drugs. Avoid lecturing and encourage their participation during your discussion. Help them understand the consequences of drug use. Make sure they know the impact drug abuse can have on their specific life and the things they love. Equip them with the knowledge, words, and courage to say no and avoid giving in to peer pressure. This talk is not a one-time conversation; keep it alive.  Love Your Child — Let your child know you are there for them and are always willing to talk and, more importantly, listen. Set Boundaries and Expectations — Let your teen know what you expect of them. For example, they are not to try drugs or alcohol. Or, if these substances are present at a party, they need to leave. Be In the Know — Know where your teen is, what they are doing, who they are doing it with, how long they will be doing it, and when they will be home. Be an Example — Actions speak louder than words. Be an example to your children. Use alcohol and prescription drugs responsibly, lawfully, and as directed.  Keep Inventory — Keep any substances in a safe, secure place. Keep tabs on alcohol and keep track of your prescription drugs.   

Contact Ardu Recovery Center

If your teen or someone you love abuses or is addicted to drugs, please contact our rehab facility. We are here to help them throughout their recovery and road to health. Each of our treatment programs is customized to fit the needs of that individual. We will work tirelessly to offer the care and support they deserve. Addiction should not be fought alone. Call us today for more information.  
Brandon Okey

Brandon Okey is the co-founder of Ardu Recovery Center and is dedicated to empowering people on their journey to sobriety.