How to Help Your Teen Avoid Falling into Addictive Behaviors

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Published Jan 10, 2017

Everyday, teenagers are faced with so many different influences. As parents, this sometimes makes us feel as if we are losing control, especially when it comes to things that are addicting. Yet, there are some things that you can still do to positively influence your son or daughter.

No parent wants to talk about drugs or addiction, especially when their kids are young, but this conversation should happen at some point. In 2009, it was estimated that 10 percent of children between 12 to 17 were using some type of illicit drug. Keep in mind that drugs are merely one type of vice that a child can get addicted to. The following are a few tips to help your teen avoid addictive behaviors.

Handling Stress

One common reason people use drugs deals with stress. Not being able to cope with stress makes it easier for a teenager to turn to addictive substances or acts. Keep in mind that surveys show that teenagers really do feel stressed. This is the reason why you need to help your teen cope with stress. Yoga, tai-chi, meditation, exercise, sports, or healthy hobbies are just some things that can help.

Education Matters

You should teach your teenager about the dangers of drugs. It is okay to be honest about drug use and your own fears regarding the possibility of them using drugs. You should also remember that some of the best lessons are the ones you teach with your own actions. You should avoid drinking too much and driving while intoxicated. These lessons speak louder than words.

Avoid Toxic Media

At times, drugs and addictive behaviors are shown in a positive light on television, in film, and music. You want to make sure you avoid showing or allowing your child to listen to these creations whenever possible, or speak up when you hear something that you do not want your child to misinterpret. You should understand that these mediums are powerful influences that could make your child believe that drugs are cool.

Be Involved

One of the strongest tools a parent has in his or her arsenal is parental involvement. Do your best to make your presence known to your teenager, which could mean knowing your teenager's friends or encouraging open communication. It is dangerous for teens to live in households where they cannot share thoughts or feelings.

Already Addicted?

Regrettably, prevention does not guarantee that your teen will not become addicted to a drug or act. Although, it can help a lot. If your son or daughter is already showing signs of addiction, call up a trusted recovery center, such as Brightside Clinic, to see what your options are. The quicker you act, the earlier you’ll be able get your child back on track.

Hopefully, all of these tips are useful to you. It seems like more and more youth today are becoming involved in addictive behaviors, and so apply these tips to your family’s lifestyle to help avoid that from happening with your teen. 

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Hannah Whittenly

Written by Hannah Whittenly

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