Tips For Raising Drug - Free Teens

by Jessica April - Date: 2007-01-08 - Word Count: 625 Share This!

Wouldn't life be easier if kids came with instruction manuals? No matter what the situation - be it the "Terrible Twos" or requests for tattoos - you'd always know where to turn for answers. When your children reached the teen years, you could dog-ear the corners of each page for easy reference.

Of course, there isn't any magical handbook for raising kids, but that doesn't mean parents are totally on their own. If you're the parent of a teen, handling the subject of drug abuse may be a problem area for you. To help you protect your family against the threat of drugs, here are tips for raising drug-free teens:

1. Educate Yourself
If you want to get through to your kids about the dangers of drug abuse, you need to understand current drug abuse trends. Most parents don't know that an alarming number of today's teenagers are more likely to abuse dextromethorphan - the active ingredient in many cough syrups - to get high, than a variety of illegal drugs like Ecstasy, cocaine, crack and meth. Parents need to stay alert to the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, in addition to illegal drugs, if they want to help their teens combat new drug threats.

2. Talk with Your Teen
Parents should talk often, listen regularly, and communicate clearly that they do not want their kids using drugs. According to a recent study on teen drug trends, kids who say they learn a lot about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to try drugs. Make sure your teen understands that abusing over-the-counter medicines, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs can be very dangerous.

3. Know Where Your Teen Is
It's important to know where your teen is and what he or she is doing. Children without adult supervision are at significantly greater risk of truancy from school, stress, receiving poor grades, risk-taking behavior, and substance abuse. It is also important to keep tabs of your child's Internet use by using web browser tools and software designed to block certain sites.

4. Introduce Your Teen to Adult Role Models Find out what adult-supervised activities - like clubs or after-school sports - interest your teen and help get him or her involved. Connection with other influential adults in teens' lives also can help them avoid the dangers of drugs, and reinforce the benefits of healthy, drug-free living.

5. Know Your Teen's Friends
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that more than half of teens say they have close friends who get high regularly. Parents need to know if these are the close friends with which their teens are spending time.

6. Recognize Signs Your Teen Is Using Drugs
Parents don't always recognize their kids might be doing drugs. While it can be hard to know, there are some general warning signs you can watch for. The fact is that any teen could be using drugs, so stay alert. As a general rule, changes that are sudden or extreme may indicate a problem.

Signs your teen could be using drugs include:
- Change in friends
- Change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Changes in physical appearance or hygiene
- Declining grades
- Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities
- Hostile and uncooperative attitude
- Unexplained disappearance of household money or medicines
- Visits to pro-drug websites
- Empty drug or medicine containers or drug paraphernalia
- Unusual chemical or medicinal smells on your child or in his or her room

While there is no special instruction manual for raising kids, parents need to remember that kids don't have a special guidebook for dealing with these difficult issues either. By being involved in your child's life and sending a clear message about the dangers of drug abuse, you can help your teen stay drug-free.

Related Tags: drug abuse, dextromethorphan abuse, dxm abuse, dxm tripping, cough syrup, using drugs, raising teens

About the Partnership for a Drug-Free America
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America is a nonprofit coalition of communication, health, medical and educational professionals working to reduce illicit drug use and help people live healthy, drug-free lives. To learn more about drug abuse - including dextromethorphan abuse - and its risks, please visit the Partnership for a Drug-Free America at or

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