preventing teen drug abuse

It’s no walk in the park being a parent of a teenager in today’s age. There are dangers and temptations lurking around every corner. From cyber safety, eating disorder concerns, alcohol and drug usage is just another concern to add to the list. Marijuana addiction, alcohol addiction, binge drinking and cocaine addictions are sadly very real among youth today.

We are grateful that News Observer has put together a great list of ways that parents can raise children not to become victims of drug abuse. See their top  tips below from their article:

Tips to prevent your child from drug and alcohol addiction:

  1.  Kids who learn about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use than those who do not. Be present and involved in your child’s life, talk and listen to your child regularly and make it clear that you do not want him or her drinking or using drugs. Provide them with solid, fact-based reasons why, how drugs and alcohol could affect their future plans, and express how much you love them and want the best for them.
  2. Start the conversation about drugs and alcohol early, well before they hit the teen years. And remember, this is not a one-time conversation. You need to speak to your kids about this over and over. Approach the topic when you have a few minutes on the ride to school or over a family dinner. Make your feelings a mantra so they know how strongly you feel.
  3. At some point, most kids will feel peer pressure and need to be prepared for how to handle the situation before it happens. An alarming number of teenagers are intentionally abusing a variety of Rx and OTC medications to get high. Know what kids are faced with today, what drugs are the new ones to be abused and be informed. The more you know, the more your kids will listen. Give them ideas for handling peer pressure and always encourage them to make good choices.
  4.  Reconsider keeping a stocked, easily accessible liquor cabinet or regular beer in the fridge and always secure prescription drugs. Make drugs and alcohol less accessible for your kids and their friends. It doesn’t erase the potential but makes it more difficult.
  5.  Encourage your kids to be active and busy. If they are involved in sports or extra-curricular activities they have less free time on their hands and are less prone to trying drugs.
  6.  Poor self-esteem and low confidence are factors that can lead to substance abuse in teenagers. A teen who has a low opinion of himself or herself might turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to boost confidence, fit in with a group of peers and improve social skills. Help your child deal with these issues early on and do what you can to promote healthy self-esteem and belief in self.
  7.  Be clear with your child about the consequences of using drugs and alcohol, not just consequences you implement (such as grounding, no use of a car, etc.), but also sports- and school-related activities they are involved in. There is the potential of being suspended from school, sitting out games or being kicked off team sports.

Talking to your children about alcohol and drug usage is key to their safety and ensuring they do not fall victim to drug abuse. Even if it appears they are brushing you off, do not give up talking to them about it. It could save their life. These tips can prevent your child from abusing drugs and becoming addicted to a dangerous habit.  We highly recommended that you implement these strategies in your home today.


Jennifer Chung is a parenting expert and co-founder of Kinsights: part parenting community, part online health record. Kinsights provides parents with a safe place to seek answers to their questions while also helping them track their child’s health information. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. Connect with Kinsights at to learn more and sign up. You also can follow them on Facebook/kinsights and Twitter (@kinsights).