Man struggling with addiction and mental health

How Can We Prevent Drug Abuse Among Youth?

Drug use among teens significantly declined in 2021, according to a University of Michigan report. However, it’s important to remain vigilant to protect your child or to ensure they seek help for substance use disorders. As children are now back in classrooms and spending time with peers, it’s essential for parents and guardians to develop skills that can prevent drug abuse among our youth. Additionally, if your teen has a drug or drinking problem, encourage them to seek help at a reputable recovery center in Arizona, such as America’s Rehab Campuses.

What Are the Consequences of Teen Drug Abuse?

There are many reasons it’s important to address alcohol and drug addiction with youths in your life. Teenage drug use often leads to drug and alcohol dependence later in life. It can also lead to poor judgment that results in sexual promiscuity, impaired driving and poor performance in school. Unfortunately, if a child already has mental health disorders, drug and alcohol abuse typically exacerbates their condition.

Teen drug abuse can also lead to serious illness or death. Some of the health risks of commonly used drugs include the risk of heart attacks and strokes for teens who abuse cocaine and the risk of heart and liver failure for those using ecstasy. Methamphetamines can result in psychotic behaviors following long-term use or high doses. Meanwhile, opioids can cause respiratory issues, including death from an overdose. Even using electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as vaping, expose children to harmful substances and the risk of addiction to nicotine.

There are serious consequences of teen drug abuse that make it important to discourage this behavior. Fortunately, there are effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in Arizona to help young people reclaim their lives and escape the grasp of addiction.

Tips To Address Drug and Alcohol Abuse

If you suspect that your teen or young adult has started using drugs or alcohol, it’s important to address the issue directly. Chances are they won’t want to have the conversation and may react badly when you interrupt their screen time or limit the time they can spend with friends. However, by remaining calm and setting firm boundaries, you can begin to slowly get through to your children.

The Mayo Clinic recommends the following discussion topics to begin the conversation and keep it going:

  • Ask how your child feels about drugs. You may get a variety of answers, including denial of drug use or apathy. It’s important to understand how they feel before you can take the next step.
  • Discuss The advantages of remaining clean and sober. If your child has given up favorite hobbies, sports, and activities they previously enjoyed, remind them what they have given up. Avoid outright scare tactics such as the likelihood of prison or worse in your first discussions.
  • Consider media messages. Television, social media songs and movies often glamorize drinking or drug use. It’s important to know what your teen has been exposed to so that you can have a serious conversation about the real consequences of this behavior.
  • Discuss the importance of resisting going along with the crowd. Brainstorm ways that your team can gracefully turn down offers of alcohol or drugs. Although peer pressure is a powerful thing for young adults, you might be surprised how much sway you still have over them.

Other Ways To Discourage Teen Addiction

Consider other strategies to prevent teen drug abuse:

  • Establish rules and consequences. Set boundaries such as not riding with or hanging out with those who do drugs or drugs.
  • Keep track of prescription drugs. If you or someone else in the home takes prescription drugs, keep careful track of them.
  • Provide support. Praise your teen if they have the strength to stop or avoid drug and alcohol use. You can also set a good example by not drinking or using drugs yourself.

At America’s Rehab Campuses, we create inviting spaces to allow young adult clients to relax and meditate alone or with their peers. By providing a nurturing atmosphere specifically tailored to young adults, we help each client find themselves again and envision a future of their own making. Contact us today to find out how to get help for your substance use disorder and to verify your insurance. The ARC accepts many insurance plans like United Health Care, Tricare, AHCCCS, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many more.