Tips On Teaching Teens About The Dangers Of Drugs And Alcohol

It is just as important to talk to your children about drugs and alcohol as it is to talk to them about sex and sexually transmitted diseases, and it can be just as difficult as well. You want to talk to them in a way that they actually listen, which for teenagers can be a bit of a task. Most importantly, you want to make sure that they know the health risks.

First, you need to know that they are listening, even when it doesn’t seem like they are. While they may still do the exact thing you told them not to do, it still helps to teach them so that when they are in a certain situation they can make a more informed decision and just might have a chance to make the right one.

Mother and daughter talking

Mother and daughter talking

Be Honest, But Not Too Honest

You need to be honest with your kids about drug and alcohol use, but you also need to not tell them about your own usage, according to research. It seems that by telling your children about your experimental days you are making it harder for them to trust your stance against drugs.

Instead, be honest about what the drugs can do to your teen, especially the risks to their health. The same with the risks of alcohol. Make sure that they understand everything that using these substances can do to them.

Not only can drugs and alcohol damage internal organs, including liver and heart health, but it can also damage mental health. The loss of jobs, friends, and other relationships from using can cause depression and even suicide attempts.

Don’t Talk Down To Them

Just because this is your child doesn’t mean you need to talk to them like they are still five. Instead, talk to them like you would any other adult. Don’t accuse them of doing drugs, and don’t make threats or ultimatums. Those things never work.

Instead, explain the things that can happen, and even the situations in which they may find themselves with the opportunity to do drugs or have a drink. Go over ways they can back out of these situations without worrying about how their peers will react. You also need to talk to them about drugs that people might slip in drinks that can lead to rape, and possibly even sexually transmitted disease.

Use Real Life Examples, But Not Your Own

Talk about peer pressure to them, and even about the desire to use prescription drugs that are not their own in order to deal with stress from school or other situations. Give them examples of situations, like parties, where drugs and alcohol may be common.

You also want to give them examples of the results of drug and alcohol abuse, but not your own. It could be a story about a friend that died from a drug overdose, or find videos online showing what happens when you drink and drive and get into a major accident.

Even after your talk, your teen still might have a drink or smoke some pot, but hopefully they’ll remember the things that you told them and only try it once, and even avoid harder stuff. They listen, you just need to talk to them, and make sure they really understand the permanent health risks they face with substance abuse.