Talking To Your Teen About Substance Abuse

Published on June 22nd, 2017

Talking to your teen about substance abuse is never an easy topic to broach, but sometimes it’s a necessary one. During their teenage years, kids are often exposed for the first time to drugs and alcohol. This is also an age when peer pressure, desire to fit in, and rebellious inclinations at are at a particular high. That is why talking to them is so very important, and making sure they know they can receive substance abuse treatment in Minnesota if they need it. Here are a few tips on how you can approach this delicate subject.

Approach Openly

Many people shutdown if they feel threatened or that they are being accused of something, and teens are no exception. Approach the topic of drug and alcohol use free of preconceived notions about your child. Speak honestly and openly with your child and allow them to make meaningful contributions to the conversation. If they feel heard they are more likely to leave the conversation feeling positive.

Warn Them Of The Risks

Trying to get someone to not do something by telling them it’s dangerous or illegal is practice in futility. Nothing is more exciting than the forbidden. Instead, speak frankly about the dangers involved in illicit drug and alcohol use. Stunted development, health risks, risks to future (education, ability to support themselves), and risks of physical harm are all real and present dangers for those who abuse these substances. There’s no need to scare your child, but being honest with them about the risks involved may have them thinking twice the next time they are presented with the choice.

Be Frank About Addiction

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, one million youths in the United States between the ages of 12 and 17 meet the diagnostic criteria for problem use or dependence (addiction) on illicit drugs or alcohol. These numbers are staggering and continue to threaten the health of teens across the nation as access to drugs becomes easier and the product, cheaper and more dangerous. Addiction affects your health, income, education, family, employment, relationships and virtually every other facet of life you can think of. Talk to your teens about the dangers of addiction, and how easily it can take hold with even the most “recreational” of drug use.

If your teen is currently struggling with substance abuse or dependence it’s time to find them professional help. At Options Family & Behavior Services we take a targeted, person-centered approach to our therapy and treatment. Find the help your teen needs by contacting us today.