Teen drug abuse: Help your teen avoid drugs – Mayo Clinic News Network

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Teen drug abuse can have a major impact on your child’s life. Find out how to help your teen make healthy choices and avoid using drugs.
Teens who experiment with drugs put their health and safety at risk. Help prevent teen drug abuse by talking to your teen about the consequences of using drugs and the importance of making healthy choices.
Various factors can contribute to teen drug use and misuse. First-time use often occurs in social settings with easily accessible substances, such as alcohol and cigarettes.
Continued use might be a result of insecurities or a desire for social acceptance. Teens may feel indestructible and might not consider the consequences of their actions, leading them to take dangerous risks with drugs.
Common risk factors for teen drug abuse include:
Negative consequences of teen drug abuse might include:
Drug use can result in drug addiction, serious impairment, illness and death. Health risks of commonly used drugs include the following:
You’ll likely have multiple conversations with your teen about drug and alcohol use. Choose times when you’re unlikely to be interrupted — and set aside phones. It’s also important to know when not to have a conversation, such as when you’re angry with your child, you aren’t prepared to answer questions, or your child is drunk or high.
To talk to your teen about drugs:
Consider other strategies to prevent teen drug abuse:
Be aware of possible red flags, such as:
If you suspect or know that your teen is experimenting with or misusing drugs:
It’s never too soon to start talking to your teen about drug abuse. The conversations you have today can help your teen make healthy choices in the future.
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