How Positive Encouragement Can Make Teens Less Prone to Drug Use

As a parent, one of your greatest concerns is likely surrounding the chances of your children using drugs. A natural response to this fear is to actively try to discourage children from using drugs by telling scary stories about them and assuring them that their lives will be ruined should they so much as think about touching drugs.

While it’s important to make sure that your children know about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, there are also other ways that you can help them stay sober. One of the best things you can do is use positive encouragement.

What Is Positive Encouragement?

Positive encouragement is basically the opposite of punishment.

Punishment is a negative experience delivered to someone with the intention of absolving them of their misdeeds. Punishment is a form of active discouragement, and it drills the idea into someone’s head that they shouldn’t repeat their actions lest they get punished again.

Positive encouragement, on the other hand, is the opposite. It’s a form of encouragement delivered as a reward for healthy behavior. Positive encouragement reinforces the idea that certain behavior is not only acceptable but worthy of repetition.

Positive encouragement differs not only in its totality but in its requirements. Punishment necessitates that an undesirable activity is committed prior to punishment; positive encouragement can actually reward someone for not committing a negative act.

For example, say your child was eager to steal cookies from the cookie jar. Punishment would involve scolding them or sending them to their room after they stole a cookie, which would discourage them from doing it in the future. Positive encouragement, however, might reward them with something else – even something as simple as kind words – each day that they don’t steal a cookie.

Positive Encouragement for Preventing Drug Use

Positive encouragement can be a great tactic for helping to prevent drug use.

What you want to do here is continually reinforce positive, healthy behavior. The more that you reinforce positive behavior, the less likely your teens will be to engage in undesirable behavior like drug addiction.

Many teens turn to drugs and alcohol because they don’t have a healthy self-image or because they don’t have a clear direction in life. Positive encouragement helps your children develop a good sense of direction and will help them feel proud and accomplished.

Celebrate them every time they complete a chore, come home sober, or help someone out. Give them congratulations when they play a sport or engage in one of their hobbies. Let them know that all of their efforts are not only recognized but appreciated and encouraged.

When you constantly reinforce your child’s healthy behavior, they will be much less likely to turn around and engage in drug addiction. This is especially important during COVID-19.



According to addiction treatment San Diego, positive reinforcement is one of the best ways that you can keep your kids away from drugs and alcohol. As often as you can, encourage your children to continue engaging in healthy behavior. This will help keep them away from drugs and alcohol.

Skip to content