Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Helping Your Child Avoid Tobacco, Drugs, and Alcohol
Positive self-esteem, a supportive family, and positive role models help teens gain confidence to make good choices. Even young children have opinions about substance use. So start early to help your child learn the skills needed to avoid substance use.
As a parent, your attitude toward tobacco, alcohol, and drugs is one of the greatest influences on whether your child will use substances. If you have a substance use disorder, get help. If you quit, your teen is more likely to get help early if your teen starts using a substance.
They may not act like it, but most children listen to what their parents tell them. Talk with your teen about the effects of substances on emotions, schoolwork, and health. If you have a family history of substance use, talk with your teen about their increased risk for the same problems.
Learn about the substances commonly used by teens. Find out how the drugs work, what their street names are, and what the signs of being under the influence are.
Know your teen's friends. Know where your teen is at all times. Set times when the family is expected to be together, such as at mealtimes. Plan family outings or other family fun activities.
Extremes of discipline can increase the risk of substance use.
Keep your teen busy with meaningful activities, such as sports, church programs, or other group involvement. Teens who feel good about themselves are less likely to use alcohol and drugs.
You can teach your teen these ways to say no if your teen is offered drugs.
Current as of:
November 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: November 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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