4 Tips for Talking to Your Teenager about Drugs
For any parent, it can be awkward or strange to talk to a teenager about drugs. Many parents believe their kids would never give in to peer pressure, but if they are unprepared for the situation of drugs, they may not know how to handle the situation. There are four good tips for talking to a teenager about drugs to keep them informed.
1. Try to Remain Neutral
Being a teenager is an interesting place to be in an individual’s life. It is important to remember that the parent is educating their adolescent, not judging them for what they may think or feel about drugs. When a teenager feels judged or ordered around, it is very likely that he or she will rebel against the advice, which will not yield the favored results.
According to the NIDA, good communication is the strength behind every family relationship, and can catch drug-related problems early while supporting positive behavior and giving a parent the inside scoop on their teenager’s lives. A conversation that is open and comfortable is more likely to teach the teen how to handle drug-related situations than an authoritative and demeaning one.
2. Keep it Open
It would be a good idea to get the teenager involved in the conversation so the parent can address their specific questions, comments, and concerns. It can also open up the child to revealing any thoughts or experiences they may have.
With this open discussion between parent and child, the parent can listen and give the teen a clear answer on how to approach the situations they are imagining or have experienced to help them avoid future problems they may have with drugs.
3. Teach About Peer Pressure
Teenagers face many issues when they are amongst their peers and the desire to fit in can cause them to try things that their friends are doing. Explain that peer pressure and drug use are used together often to push someone into trying something they would otherwise not do.
According to the Better Health Channel, teenagers use drugs for many of the same reasons adults do, which can include a desire to feel different or better, to experiment or take risks, boredom, escape psychological pain by feeling more relaxed, or because they want to feel like a part of a certain group.
While talking about this to the teenager, put emphasis on the fact that he or she does not need to do drugs to fit in and let them know that if their friends want them to do something they are not comfortable with, they can always say no.
4. Discuss Consequences & Potential Addiction of Drugs
There are many consequences to doing drugs. Do not be afraid to tell the teenager every gruesome detail to make sure they understand what will happen if they experience drug use. It is a good idea to explain thoroughly the physical and mental changes that happen when anyone becomes addicted to drugs to ensure that they know what lies on the other side of drug use.
The probability of addiction is a very important thing a teenager needs to know because the use of drugs is very dangerous for anyone. Explain that just trying a drug is not as simple as that and can result in an addiction, which is out of their control.
Tell them something like the high that the child can get from the drug may feel good in the moment but with continued use can cause consequences such as addiction and health issues.
It is very important that every parent talk to their teens about drugs to ensure they are aware of the consequences when the need arises. By discussing this issue with the teenager in a nonjudgmental, open, and educational way, they can learn how to deal with peer pressure, express their own questions and concerns to make sure they are well informed.
If you or a loved one is suffering from drug abuse or addiction and needs help, call 800-605-6597 Who Answers? to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.