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How to Talk to Your Teens About Drugs and Alcohol

Most parents try hard to keep their kids safe and informed about issues that might affect them, but communication can get more challenging as they get older. This is why it’s a good idea to speak to your children about drugs and alcohol early in their lives. It’s essential to have this conversation, as drugs and alcohol have become easier for teens to get hold of and it can ruin their lives. Each year, millions of teenagers try a controlled substance like alcohol or marijuana for the first time. Most won’t experience an addiction, but many do, and the consequences can be devastating. 

Know What You’re Talking About

As kids get older, especially now as there’s so much information right there at their fingertips, they will start to question the life lessons that they hear from parents, teachers, and other authority figures in their lives. They will often become more heavily influenced by the things that they see on social media, the internet and TV, and by their peers. Anti-drug messages like ‘just say no’ are not always as effective as teens get older and start to question things; they will want facts and evidence, so it’s a good idea to do your research and have a good understanding of what you’re talking about before you sit down to have a conversation with them. You can find more information at this Trusted Ohio Detox Center website. 

How Drugs Affect Teenagers

Understanding how drugs impact teenagers and talking to your kids about this can be a good place to start. Teenagers have brains that are wired to be curious and seek out new experiences. Since it’s at a stage where there is a lot of development, teenagers often adapt to addictive substances more quickly in comparison to adults. All drugs overload the brain’s reward system with dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel happy. The brain then associates using the drug with this positive reward, which causes teens to want to continue taking it. 

How Parents Influence Their Kids

Many parents don’t believe that they have a very strong influence on their kids, but the research says otherwise. Even if your teen spends more of their day at school than at home, parents tend to be the most influential people in their lives. While many don’t always like to admit it, teens tend to value the respect of their parents highly. With this in mind, it’s crucial to think about your own influence on your child when it comes to preventing them from trying drugs or alcohol. Teens tend to mimic what they see, which is why being a positive role model, and keeping alcohol and other drugs away from the home is important. While there’s nothing wrong with adults drinking in moderation, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your teens about the impact of alcohol on the developing brain, and why it’s important to wait until their brain is fully developed before they drink. 

Talking to your teens about drugs and alcohol can be one of the most important conversations you will have with your kids as a parent.


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