How can Teenage Substance Abuse be prevented?

Drugs use is always risky. They often lead to mental trauma, addiction, overdose, and other negative side effects. Adolescents and young adults are some of the most vulnerable groups for potential substance addiction.

Using a substance while finding out one’s own life path, aspirations, and preferences can prove disastrous. Adolescents who begin substance abuse when they are young are more vulnerable to addiction in the future too.

Whether you are a parent, mentor, sibling, or friend to a teenager, preventing substance abuse is extremely important. 

Effects of Drug Abuse

The dangers of drugs are especially prominent in young adults. Since their judgement may be weaker than an adult’s, they may do things (under the influence) that may attract legal consequences too.

Some common effects of drug abuse in adolescents include:

  • excessive stress 
  • declining school performance 
  • dependence on drugs 
  • depression  
  • difficulty socializing or maintaining relationships 
  • isolation 
  • risky behavior 
  • self-esteem issues 
  • unsafe sexual activity

Prevention is the best the loved ones of a teen may want to do.

Discouraging Substance Abuse

It is a good idea to have a conversation about drug abuse and its harmful consequences early in adolescence. Creating an early awareness at a young age reduces the potential for drug abuse and addiction and creates a strong bridge between parents and children for communication on a confusing topic.

Some important things to do include –

  • Listen to your teen’s point of view – Understand and empathize with how they feel to build trust. 
  • Talk to your teen about your experience with drug usage. It can help to build trust with your child by discussing your feelings.
  • Discuss how drug use is not good for them.
  • You can use online resources available on the dangers and consequences of routine drug use for educational purposes.

Education opens up the opportunity for teenagers to agree to undergo therapy. They may be reluctant to talk to you or another family member about their substance abuse. But it may be easier for them to talk to a trained de-addiction professional or therapist.

Stopping addiction is extremely important. If further preventive measures seem ineffective, seek the help of rehabilitation professionals. Addiction is a powerful disease, and even those closest to the affected individual may be unable to help them shake the habit off.

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