Young people try drugs for many reasons including relaxation, socializing, curiosity or peer pressure. Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis are the most commonly used drugs by teenagers. Around one in five teenagers have tried cannabis at least once. Parents can reduce the risk of drugs for their children with some strategies
Some strategies to avoid children using drugs may be: * Model appropriate behavior such as drinking moderately, not smoking and not using illicit drugs. * Establish agreements and guidelines about what is acceptable behavior around alcohol and drugs. * Encourage a healthy approach to life including good foods, regular exercise and sports. * Allow your child to practice responsibility and develop good decision-making skills from an early age. * Keep yourself informed about drugs and educate your child on the dangers of drug use. Do not exaggerate or make information up. * Have open and honest discussions about drugs.
Reasons why teenagers take drugs Young people use drugs for similar reasons that adults do – to change how they feel because they want to feel better or different. Reasons may include:
* Socializing with friends, peer pressure or the need to feel part of a group * Relaxing or just for fun * Curiosity, experimentation or wanting to take risks * To escape from psychological or physiological pain. * Many teenagers start doing drugs because of the simple fact that teenagers feel very pressured by many things as for example: how do i get good calcifications on school? How do I make my parents be proud of me? , how can i get to be more popular with my friends? And also nowadays the expectations of the studies and future are much bigger that what they were before.
5 steps to make your teen stop taking drugs
1. Be open with your teen about your concerns. Once you are ready to confront your teen about drug use, remain calm while being very firm that there is no escaping the fact that you are aware of the problem. A teen’s first instinct may be to lie about the problem or place the blame on someone else, so it’s important to immediately establish that both of you must be truthful with each other.
2. Do your best not to attack or threaten your teen. You are likely to be furious about your teen’s drug use, but lashing out angrily may cause your teen to feel that you are out to get her and cause her to withdraw further from you. Stress that you are concerned about her behavior but you are there to help her stop doing drugs so she can lead a happy and healthy life.
3. Listen to your teen’s explanations and feelings about his drug use. Try not to be judgmental, place blame or immediately criticize his initial reasons for using drugs. It’s important to show your teen that he can turn to you about this or any other issues he might be having.
4. Avoid confronting your teen when you think she might be under the influence of drugs. It may be very difficult to keep calm if you suspect that your child has been using drugs and you are highly unlikely to have a productive conversation with her when she’s in an altered state of mind.
5. Consult your family doctor or other health professionals experienced in dealing with drug addiction. Though you will be able to provide support and guidance for your teen, you will need the help of medical experts to treat your child’s potential addiction. Your family doctor should also be able to diagnose his emotional health while addressing the possibility of any associated psychological conditions.
Courtney from Study Moose
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