For most teens, going back to school evokes all kinds of emotions, from excitement to fear and anxiety. School also brings increased stress due to peer pressure. It’s not surprising that the teenage years are when kids begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Bradford Health is reminding parents to have a heightened awareness and take these proactive steps to help keep their teens safe from drugs and alcohol this school year.
- Reaffirm your stance on drugs and alcohol: Even if you’ve talked to your child about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, it’s important they hear the message again. Make sure they understand the consequences.
- Encourage activities: Support your child’s interest and involvement in activities like sports, school clubs, or playing a musical instrument. Studies show kids who stay active are less likely to use drugs and alcohol.
- Get in their business: It may feel like you’re invading their privacy, but as a parent, it’s wise to regularly check your child’s phone, search their room, and know who they’re hanging out with.
- Eat dinner together: Research shows that teens who consistently eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or use drugs.
- Implement the ‘X Plan’: This plan gives your child a way of out a bad situation. It works like this: If your teen is in a tough spot with friends, he/she simply texts you the letter “X.” Upon receiving it, you immediately call and say there’s a family emergency and you need to pick him/her up. For the ‘X plan’ to work, parents must promise that they will not ask questions or pass judgment on their child.
If you suspect your teenager is using drugs or alcohol, the time to intervene is now. The window between experimentation and addiction is small. Call us today: 888.577.0012.