Helping Your Child Avoid Tobacco, Drugs, and Alcohol - Topic Overview
Talk with your child about the dangers of misusing prescription medicines, such as using ADHD medicines to concentrate better or stay up later to study. Misusing these medicines can cause heart problems and psychological effects such as anxiety, mood swings, paranoia, seeing or hearing things that are not present (hallucinations), and believing things that are not true (delusions). If your child takes these medicines for ADHD, talk with him or her about using them as prescribed and never giving or selling them to other children.
Be aware that some adolescents and teens try to get a rush by
cutting off oxygen to the brain, such as through choking or strangling each
other. Talk to your child about these dangerous behaviors. Explain that they
can result in lifelong problems or even death.
Many adolescents feel pressured to use
alcohol or drugs because some of their friends are using them. Here are some
tips to teach your child on how to deal with peer pressure.
Encourage your child to:
- Hang out with people who do not use drugs or
alcohol. Then, if your child is asked to use drugs, he or she can take a stand
and walk away, knowing that there is support from the group.
parties where your child knows drugs or alcohol will be
- Practice or role-play things to say to friends who might
try to get your child to use drugs or alcohol. This helps your child consider
in advance what might happen and think about ways to say "no." Practice
responses, such as:
- "No, thanks. I've got too much to do
- "I'll just end up embarrassing myself."
got to stay clean for basketball practice."
- "My parents told me
that they would ground me for 3 weeks if I use, and I don't want to take the
chance of missing my friend's party."
- Get involved in drug-free activities. Talk about
ways to ask friends to join too.
- Call you for a ride if he or she
is in trouble or feels pressured by others to use drugs or alcohol. Let your
child know that you want to help no matter what the situation is.
Look for a peer-led prevention program in your area to help
reinforce what you are teaching.