Teen drug and alcohol use is far more prevalent than many parents may expect. A study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) found that 75% of high school students have used addictive substances. As early drug use is a risk factor for substance addiction development, preventing teen drug use should be a priority for parents.

In addition to talking to their kids about drugs and alcohol and regularly checking in with them, there are a number of steps that parents can take to reduce the likelihood that their teen will use drugs or alcohol. The most effective strategies stem from a keen understanding of how the teenage brain works.

For example, research has demonstrated that the teenage brain is wired to favor risk-taking and experimentation. Giving teenagers safe and alternative ways to act out on these adventurous impulses can make them less likely seek out drugs or alcohol. Encouraging your child to participate in physical fitness activities and teaching them to value health and nutrition will also reduce the likelihood that they will develop a desire to experiment with drugs or alcohol.

Nevertheless, just because your teen does not seek out drugs and alcohol does not mean that it will not be made available to them. Working with your child to develop an excuse for turning down drugs or alcohol in advance will leave them better prepared to withstand peer pressure when should that situation arise. Encouraging your child to participate in peer mentorships and other community-based volunteer activities may also give them more confidence and inspiration to refrain from drug and alcohol use.

If you suspect that your teen is already using or abusing drugs or alcohol, you should not hesitate to seek the advice and counseling of qualified addiction treatment professionals.

The Asana Recovery Center offers a comprehensive detoxification and residential treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction that can help those at any age or stage of addiction. To learn more about our program and facilities, call (949) 438-4504 today.