5 Effective Ways to Reduce Teenage Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse

young man anxious confused

Family life influences teens more than parents may realize. Although a family may not be able to control situations that happen outside the home (peers, communities, society), parents can certainly guide the culture of the family to build personal accountability and responsibility for how and when teens learn about the risks and dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

Drug Abuse Prevention

Part of dealing with alcohol and drug problems is to stop the issues from ever happening. The protective factors developed by experts teach parents how to help families make important decisions, promote mental health and prevent underage use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. Children’s chances for taking drugs and engaging in risky behaviors reduce a teen’s risks for becoming involved in alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. Here are five effective ways to reduce teen drug use and alcohol abuse.

Know What’s Going On

Be involved in a teen’s life in your home. Know the friends, who and what and where things are happening. Encourage independence but set appropriate limits like curfews and check-in times. Keep teens accountable with consequences for stretching beyond limits.

Teach Science of Drugs and Alcohol

Talk about drinking and drugs – not just statistics, but the science behind it. This requires research on brain science of what substances do to the body. A good place to start is online looking for scientific principles of drugs and alcohol.

Get Educated About Substance Abuse

The warning signs of teen drinking or drug problems or and risk factors such as depression, family history, addiction or social transitions. Having a plan for seeking help if family needs it is important.

Look Outside Family for Mentoring Help

Encourage teens to seek positive mentorship outside the family who reinforce family beliefs and values. Teens can seek a mentor through religious or spiritual groups or informally through school activities. Check in with the mentor to gain more perspective on his or her life.

Spend One on One Time

Drug testing a teen should always be a last resort when trying to help a child. Regularly spend time with the teen and give the teen undivided attention. Some sample activities include walking, playing tennis, bowling, riding bike, dinners and cooking. It helps to spend quality time with teens to understand how things are going and listen to what is happening in the teen’s life.


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