Many teenagers try alcohol, tobacco and drugs. However majority of the teenagers try these substances only a few times for fun and experimentation and stop. But many of them do not control their urges or cravings for drugs. This habit of constantly using drugs and harmful elements can be defined as substance abuse.
Teenagers use a number of substances which includes cigarettes, alcohol, inhalants, prescription, over the counter medicines and illegal drugs. Marijuana is the most illegal drug that teens use most often and are more often addicted to. Substance abuse can lead to many serious problems like poor schoolwork, loss of friends, problems at home and lasting legal problems. Alcohol and drug abuse are the main cause of the death of teenagers or injury that are caused to car crashes, suicides, violence and drowning. Substance abuse increases the risk of getting pregnant and sexually transmitted infections including HIV because of unprotected sex.
Keep a look out for the signs of drug or substance addiction:
Do not ignore if your teenage child is using alcohol, tobacco or any type of drugs, take it very seriously.
Most important thing that you can do is to talk openly with your teenager child about the problem and encourage him or her to do the same.
Do not try to use harsh and judging words with your child. Be as supportive as you can during this time of child.
Following are ways that can help your teenager to prevent substance use:
Try to keep your child busy with recreational activities such as sports, art and craft or other groups activities.
Talk to your child early about what you expect in his or her behaviour toward alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. If your child thinks that you will allow substance use, he or she is more likely to try drugs or alcohol.
Train your teenager kid to follow the household rules. Make reasonable consequences for behaviour that needs to change.
Keep talking with your teenager. Praise your child for even the little things he or she does well to build his or her morale.
Always know your child’s friend circle. Having friends who avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs may be your teen’s best protection from substance abuse.