There are many many strategies for raising healthy teens. It's important to delay experimentation as long as possible to let young brains mature. Substance use alters brain function much more quickly among children and teens. The best defense is your relationship with your children. It's better if they don't see you drinking and using drugs because that creates the belief that it's okay for them, too. Children don't see themselves as children, but rather as just like their parents only younger. So, be aware that your actions with guide theirs.
The best line of defense is an open relationship with your children that encourages a healthy dialogue about the dangers of drug use in terms they can understand. Paired with consequences that will resonate, like the taking away of freedoms and valued items, discussions should include talking openly about the effects of drugs like marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine on a user’s health and wellness. Be available and willing to listen to whatever your children have to say without interrupting or losing your composure, ensuring a healthy conversation where they feel their voices are being heard.
2. Have a Plan and Offer Privileges and Incentives.
In the home, prescription drugs such as opioids and stimulants should be locked away safely, accessible only to the person to whom they’re prescribed. If those drugs are prescribed to your child, monitor use of the medication, and keep it stored in your bathroom rather than your child’s.
Parents who suspect their child may be facing peer pressure or abusing drugs should consider using a home drug test. Sold at major retailers in the pharmacy section, First Check Home Drug Tests are a quick and accessible resource for parents concerned about their children’s health. Over 99 percent accurate, these kits deliver results in five minutes, testing for the presence of up to 14 commonly abused drugs.
Your drug prevention plan may also include a system of rewards for passing home drug tests, including car privileges and other tangible incentives.
3. Strategize Saying “No.”Strategize with your children on how to say “no” when pressured to use drugs, while also reinforcing the “why.” Reasons to say “no” can be anything from not wanting to harm one’s grades, health or athletic potential, or even just the fact that you implement home drug testing. To that end, consider home drug testing as a way to take the pressure off your children, giving them an easy out in social situations where drugs are introduced, while saving face with peers. You can even give them a line to use on their friends, such as, “I can’t, my parents are crazy and they drug test me!”