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Talking to Teens about Addiction

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, sibling or friend who cares about a teenagers future, it is absolutely critical that you are talking to teens about addiction and the dangers involved in taking drugs and alcohol. Many parents and family simply never can fathom that their child would ever be involved in drugs and alcohol and therefore never clearly communicate with them all the dangers and consequences that are involved with addiction and drug abuse. What many parents do not know is that teen addiction is on the rise, and if parents aren’t proactive and communicative with their child when they are young about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, their child could also fall into this lifestyle.

Facts About Teens and Drug Use

Talking to Teens about Addiction40% of pre-teens around 11-14 say they expect to use some form of drug in the future, whether it be alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, etc. One out of every 5 kids in 8th grade have reported to already have tried marijuana at least once. Studies also show that teens that smoke cigarettes are more likely to drink alcohol, and teens who drink alcohol regularly are more likely to smoke marijuana at some point. Also, and maybe more startling, is that long term studies suggest that many long term destructive drug addictions in adults stem from teenage abuse.

Communicate With Your Teen Effectively

Although many parents simply do not want to speak frankly with their children about drugs, being able to communicate clearly and effectively with your teen about drug abuse can very well save their lives. But to be able to communicate effectively with their teenager about the dangers of drug addiction, parents must first be able to:

  • Understand Tell tale behavioral signs their child may be addicted to drugs
  • Educate yourself about the different kinds of drugs available to teens and learn to detect signs of their child using them
  • If you suspect your teen has been using or is addicted to drugs or alcohol act as quickly as possible understanding the longer the teen abuses these substances the more likely it is for them to become addicted to that substance.

Be Supportive

During this time it is important for a parent to be observant of their child’s behavior, performance in school, as well as the any abrupt changes in the friends your teen hangs out with. But the most important thing a parent can do is to be understanding and supportive of their teen while they’re in this tough situation.

If you have spoken plainly with your child about addiction and all the dangers associated with drug abuse, and yet you have still found them to be using illegal drugs, it is important to understand why your child is using these substances from there point of view, and let them communicate with you their reasons for using these harmful substances. By just listening to your child and letting them speak freely to you about their drug problem, is the very best way for you to understand it through their perspective. By understanding the full picture you will be better equipped to deal with the problem head on and eliminate it once and for all.

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