Parents often underestimate how easily accessible drugs are for their children and often overestimate even the best-intentioned child’s ability to withstand peer pressure. It is important that they do not use this false sense of security as a pretext to avoid a potentially difficult and awkward conversation. It may be an uncomfortable topic to broach, but experts recommend discussing drug and alcohol abuse with your children long before any signs of use start to appear.
Indeed, most professionals advise that conversations specifically about drugs and alcohol begin as early as 12. It is also recommended that parents start a habit of checking in with their child regularly even earlier than that age so that a pattern of open communication becomes an expected norm. Having these discussions before any specific drug use is suspected can also help parents avoid accusatory tones, allowing for a more productive conversation.
Parents should also be wary of relying too heavily on scare tactics. While the negative consequences of drug use should not be dismissed or diminished, explaining the benefits of refraining from drug and giving your child positive reasons to abstain may make it easier for them to say no in the face of peer pressure.
It is important to set clear expectations and boundaries with your child, but you should make sure to include their voice in the process as well. Working with your child to set the terms of punishment for violating your rules can help strengthen his or her inner desire to comply.
If you suspect that your teen may be suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to get them enrolled in a treatment program at the earliest opportunity.
The Asana Recovery Center offers a comprehensive detoxification and residential treatment program that can help those at any stage of addiction. Learn more by calling our facilities at (949) 438-4504 today.