Teens that abuse drugs early in life will often suffer from a strong addiction when they grow older and are likely to make poor choices based on their impaired judgment throughout high school and the rest of their lives. You have to remember that teens are entering an entirely new world filled with responsibility. By talking to your teen about the severity and consequences of drug abuse you can make a difference in their lives.
Common Mistakes and Alternatives
Often parents make one of two mistakes when dealing with teen drug abuse. Either they side-step the issue altogether and leave the teen uninformed or they are too overbearing about drug abuse before there is a problem and the teen comes to resent the information they were offered.
First, you need to respect that your teenager is on a journey to becoming independent. They want to make decisions for themselves. By yelling at them and giving them examples of people that have suffered from drug abuse you evoke the wrong emotional response. Instead, you want to have a concerned and respectful tone on this issue. You need to tell them why people use drugs, how it affects their body and life, as well as how they should handle pressure in common situations. They need to understand these concepts to form their own opinion about the negative effects of teen drug abuse. It also helps to be less restrictive on other matters to support their independence and avoid drug use as well. Allowing them to stay out later or drive themselves places will show them you’re respecting their independence and will give you more ground for your drug abuse talk.
The other mistake parents make is completely avoiding the conversation. Having no insight to teen drug abuse, teens are more likely to use because they are unaware of the negative psychological and societal effects they can have. It may be an awkward conversation to have with your teen, but pretending the problem doesn’t exist won’t make it go away. You want their knowledge of drug abuse to come from you and not someone else who might enjoy using.
Teen drug abuse is dangerous now that they can drive and are becoming sexually active. Using drugs is proven to drastically impair a person’s judgment. You don’t want your teen to end up making a life-altering decision because they either didn’t know the facts or felt that you were too overbearing and treated them childishly.