5 Tips for Parents to Keep Teens Away From Drugs

Parents Can Have an Influence on Children

For parents trying to keep their children away from alcohol and drugs during their formative years, there is good news—research shows that parents can have considerable influence on the decisions their teens make regarding substance abuse.

Following are the best tips for parents gleaned from the latest scientific research studies into why teens do and do not decide to drink alcohol or do drugs during adolescence.

Parental Influence Reigns

Father and Son
Parents Have Great Influence. © Getty Images

Peers and the media do play a role, but parents remain the greatest influence on their children's behavior, according to research. Here are some practical tips parents can use to reduce the likelihood that their children will engage in substance abuse.


Your Style of Parenting Can Make a Difference

Teen With Mom
Teen With Mom. © PhotoXpress.com

The type of parent you are (authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent or neglectful) can make a big difference in whether or not your teens will pick up alcohol and drugs in their early years, according to this study of 4,983 adolescents.


Talk to Your Teens at an Early Age

Mother and Teen
Mother and Teen. BigStockPhoto.com

If your children feel like they can talk to you about their problems and their lives, and that you respect their feelings, they are less likely to drink or abuse drugs at an early age, according to this research.


Family Dinners Can Curb Teen Substance Abuse

Family Dinner
Family Dinner. BigStockPhoto.com

The more often you have sit-down family dinners each week, the less likely your children will become involved in substance abuse as teens—as long as you talk with your children at those meals and become involved in their lives.


Take Your Children to Church

Teen and Parent
Teen and Parent. Clipart.com
You may think that is a no-brainer, that teens who are religious are less likely to drink and drug compared to those who are not involved in religion, but what may surprise you is just how much difference it makes.


It's Important That Children Don't Do Drugs Early

Why is it so important that parents do all they can to keep their children from beginning substance abuse at an early age? Many studies have found that the earlier a person begins alcohol and drug use, the more likely they will develop severe substance abuse problems and have other negative life outcomes in adulthood. The younger they start, the more severe the outcome.

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