Substance Use Among Teens: Here Are Some Tips To Help Your Teen Avoid Drugs

  1. Home
  2. Wellness

Substance Use Among Teens: Here Are Some Tips To Help Your Teen Avoid Drugs

Teenagers who experiment with drugs and other substances jeopardise their well-being and safety.

Substance Use Among Teens: Here Are Some Tips To Help Your Teen Avoid Drugs

Image Source: Dinodia

The adolescent brain undergoes a maturation process, exhibiting distinct characteristics compared to the adult brain. Teenagers often prioritise rewards and are more prone to taking risks. Simultaneously, they seek increased independence from their parents as they embark on a journey of self-discovery. 

The developing teenage brain is particularly susceptible to the effects of substances that excessively stimulate the brain's reward circuits, leading to potential rewiring.

To prevent teenage drug abuse, it is crucial to engage in open conversations with your teenager regarding the consequences of drug use and the significance of making healthy choices.

Addressing drug use among teens:

When it comes to discussing drug and alcohol use with your teenager, there are a few key considerations. First and foremost, select a location that provides comfort for both you and your teen. Additionally, choose a time when interruptions are unlikely, ensuring that both of you can focus on the conversation. It's essential to set aside phones to minimise distractions.

Equally important is recognizing when not to engage in this discussion. If either parent or teenager is feeling angry or frustrated, it's advisable to postpone the conversation. 

To effectively communicate with your teenager about drugs:

Engage your teenagers and seek their perspectives. Instead of lecturing, create an open space where you can listen to their opinions and address their questions regarding drugs. Assure your teen that they can be honest without facing consequences, fostering a discussion environment.

Deliberate on reasons for abstaining from drug use, avoiding alarming tactics. Highlight how drug use can impact aspects that hold significance for your teenager, such as sports performance, driving abilities, health, or appearance. Provide relatable examples to illustrate these points effectively.

Take into account the influence of media messages. Recognize that social media, television programs, movies, and songs often portray drug use as normal or glamorous. Initiate conversations about what your teen observes and absorbs from these sources.

Explore strategies to combat peer influence and engage in open conversations with your adolescent regarding declining invitations involving drug use. Prepare yourself to address inquiries about your personal history with substances, encompassing alcohol.

Explore alternative preventive measures

Take into account additional strategies for preventing teenage drug abuse:

Stay informed about your teen's activities. Stay aware of your teen's whereabouts and stay involved in their life. Discover adult-supervised activities that your teen is interested in and encourage their participation.

Set clear rules and establish consequences. Clearly communicate your family's rules, such as leaving a gathering where drug use is present or not accepting rides from drivers who have consumed drugs. 

Collaborate with your teen to create a plan for getting home safely if they find themselves in a situation where the driver is under the influence. If your teen violates the rules, consistently enforce the consequences.

Understand your teenager's circle of friends. When your teenager associates with friends who engage in drug use, they may experience the urge to experiment as well.

Identifying symptoms of substance abuse in adolescents

  1. Rapid or significant shifts in social circles, eating routines, sleep patterns, physical appearance, financial demands, coordination, or academic performance

  2. Irresponsible actions, impaired decision-making, and an overall disinterest in activities

  3. Disregard for rules or a withdrawal from family interactions

  4. Discovery of medicine containers or drug-related objects in your teenager's room, despite no apparent illness or need for medication

Maintain awareness of prescription drugs. Conduct regular checks to account for all prescription and over-the-counter medications present in your household.

Offer support and guidance. Show appreciation and motivate your teenager when they achieve success. Building a strong connection between you and your teenager can serve as a deterrent against drug use.

Lead by example. Consume alcohol responsibly and in moderation. Follow prescribed instructions when taking medications. Refrain from using illegal drugs.


Initiating discussions about drug abuse with your teenager should never be delayed. Engaging in these conversations at an early stage can significantly contribute to your teen's ability to make positive and informed decisions regarding substance use as they navigate their future.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.