Nothing solves the problem better then the prevention of it. Teen substance abuse begins in home. Parental influence is the main reason why teens stay off alcohol and drugs. Teens whose parents teach them about risks of substance abusing have 50% more chance never to try drugs and to avoid underage drinking.
In other words, parents who do not engage in prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, have more chance to deal with this problem later, probably when their kid already develop addiction. Neglecting your child and not dedicating your time to this problem earlier may get in a nightmare later, like thousand other parents from Illinois.
First, parents need to be good role models. If you drink often, or smoke in front of your children, it is more likely that they will adopt this negative behavior. In addition, children who smokes and drink are more like to try drugs. Children need to know that these habits are bad for their health and development, and they need to know all the consequences.
It is not enough just to tell them, and not explain, or they will probably not listen. Therefore, parents need to learn first, in order of successful alcohol and drug prevention. There are numerous resources for parents, like internet and magazines, and they should never restrain from asking professionals for advice.
Parents should learn what the warning signs of alcohol and drug abuse are. Watch your child’s behavior, and if you notice any differences, talk to him about that. It can be hard to spot this signs sometimes, as teenagers are in constant mood change. Be patient and careful, don’t jump and accuse them every time they seem a little strange to you.
You don’t need to breed at your teen’s neck all the time, but some control cannot heart. Get to know your child’s friends and their parents. Monitor their activities, what they do in a spare time, what are their interests. Promote healthy life and support their sport and other creative activities.
You should teach them that it is ok to say no. Many kids don’t even like the taste of alcohol, but they drink it to fit in among other teens. Teach them that is better to make excuses with their friends, than to lie to you and put their health to great risk. Explain to them, and keep on reminding them, that one small mistake can put their development in danger, witch can make trail for the whole life.
You can easily find help for prevention, as there are many services for teen alcohol and drugs abuse prevention available to Illinois citizens. Agencies are creating strategic plans for tobacco, alcohol and drugs prevention. They also provide parent education, mentoring, youth prevention education, working together with schools and communities.