Parents Can Prevent Substance Abuse
The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more apt, in describing the importance of substance abuse prevention. Most drug use begins in the teenage years, and this includes alcohol and nicotine use.
There are many contributing factors that have been proven to be related to whether or not a teenager begins using drugs or avoids them. Parents have the greatest capacity for preventing drug use, in their children, because many of the risk factors relate back to things the parents can control or influence.
Some of these factors include family conflict, which creates a lot of stress in a teenager’s life. Family management issues, like discipline, scheduling, etc. are also of concern. Parent attitudes around drugs have a connection with a teen’s use. For example, if a parent does not express clear beliefs against the use of drugs, a teenager is more likely to experiment with them.
Parents who are more involved are a preventative factor while family history of behavior problems can contribute to the problem. While friends and peer pressure have a lot to do with use, it is not without a parent’s ability to monitor and address bad relationships the teen is involved in.
Parents who have a child that starts getting into trouble early should be forewarned that it can lead to later drug use. So, early intervention is best. Seeking counseling for a troubled child or teenager can prevent things from getting worse.
One thing that is harder for parents to control, especially where financial and other challenges make it difficult to change, is the community setting. A neighborhood that is not connected or a community that is disorganized can contribute to some teens’ use.
Extreme economic and social states can also play a part. On the other hand, moving too much or having too many transitions can also lead to teen drug use. So, parents must be careful when considering changing locations to help a teenager in trouble.
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