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A teenager is less likely to have friends who use drugs if their parents are honest, supportive, and “engaged” in their everyday lives. As a result, their chance of abusing alcohol and drugs is significantly reduced. You, as a parent should build a loving, trustworthy, and supportive connection with your adolescent while still keeping a careful check on them.

1. Know your children’s whereabouts

Keeping an eye on kids’ whereabouts, the people they hang out with, what they do in their free time, and their social media accounts are crucial steps in lowering their risk of drug use. You might explain to your teen that you are watching these things not out of curiosity but rather out of concern for their safety. Parents who practise active listening, speak to their teenagers in a non-judgmental and compassionate way, and give them helpful advice in a healthy way can have a significant positive impact on their activities.

2. Know your children’s friends

You can better comprehend your child’s possible exposure to drugs by getting to know their friends. Make your home a welcoming spot for his or her friends to gather rather than letting your teen go to a friend’s house every weekend. Establish boundaries, but also create a welcoming environment where they will want to spend time. Keep an impartial distance. Make sure they are not friends with any drug addicts. Watch their friends and their family backgrounds.

3. Educate and discuss about the consequences of drugs

Parents should be knowledgeable of the various addictive substances that their children may come into contact with. For instance, many parents still do not fully understand the dangers of prescription medicines, despite the opioid epidemic. Your child needs communication. Build trust with your teen, talk to them about their day, dreams and fears. Tell them that you’ll always lend a listening ear so that they don’t hesitate coming to you.

4. Discuss ways to resist peer pressure

Teach your child to avoid friends or relatives who encourage substance use. This way you can cultivate healthy relationships and friendships. We often hear that “we become most like those we surround ourselves with”. Tell your child that if they are among people who abuse alcohol and/or drugs, they are more likely to do the same. Teenagers and adults both experience peer pressure on a regular basis. Educate your child on how to say “no”. Come up with a convincing justification, or make a strategy in advance to avoid caving in to peer pressure.

5. Keep track of prescription drugs

Count the number of pills contained in each prescription bottle or pack. Keep track of prescription refills for both your own and other household members’ medications. Prescriptions that need to be renewed more frequently than usual may be a sign of trouble. Observe your teen’s prescriptions (dosages and refills). Prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals should be kept in a secure location, such as a locked cabinet, rather than in an unlocked one.

6. Get professional help

Teen drug usage can occasionally escape parental oversight. Despite parental participation, teenagers may decide to use drugs and may grow dependent on them. If this occurs, understand that it does not indicate failure. But it is a call to action. To help a kid become healthy and maintain sobriety, early intervention is essential. Dangerous outcomes like addiction and overdose can be avoided. A professional intervention can aid a teen in recovery if they are already addicted, lowering the likelihood of long-term effects. The best place to handle and treat the special requirements of young individuals facing drug abuse and addiction is an adolescent or young adult treatment centre.

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