How can parents prevent teenage drug and alcohol abuse?

Dr. John C. Eustace, MD
Addiction Medicine

Talk to your child. That’s the recommendation of many experts, including Mothers Against Drug Driving. Conversation is so important. Ask kids about the parties and concerts they attend; ask about their feelings.  Combine your messages of concern with expressions of love. Take time to deliver consistent, balanced messages through your words and actions.

That kind of dialogue is noticeably absent in the lives of children who abuse drugs. Ironically, some parents contribute to problems by providing their kids with that first drink or drug experience or by hosting parties where drugs and alcohol are present. Those same parents, however, become outraged and overly harsh when their kids run into academic or legal problems due to substance abuse. Inconsistent or conflicting messages set the stage for alienation, abuse and addiction.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.