Drug Abuse Prevention

Many teens give in to peer pressure because they want to feel accepted and liked by their peers. While this is a natural tendency among many young people, there are preventative measures parents can take to help protect against teen drug abuse.

Establish Guidelines

Setting expectations is an essential element of drug abuse prevention. As a parent, it’s important to speak to your children on regular basis and let them know what you do and do not find to be tolerable behavior. If your children know that it would greatly disappoint you if they even tried drugs, they may be stronger in their ability to avoid peer pressure to use.

Discussing the types of drugs and the associated dangers will also take the mystery out of use and can help prevent your teen from trying a drug he knows little about.

Monitor Teens

Even the most well-intentioned teen can fall prey to peer pressure, which can feel overwhelming. To monitor your teen, you need to know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing.

Even when you are not physically present, you can still track their behaviors. It is possible to monitor your teens through:

  • Phone calls.
  • Random trips home earlier than expected.
  • Having neighbors watch for visitors during hours when you are away.
  • Monitoring levels of prescription drugs in your home, if any.
  • Looking for changes in your child’s habits and/or friend groups.

Some statistics on drug attitudes and experiences of teens state that:

  • 29% of teenagers report exposure to drugs on school property between grades 9 and 12.
  • 56% of teenagers find it easier to prescription drugs than illegal drugs.
  • 40% of teenagers think that prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs.

Credit: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH)