7 Tips to Help Teens Prevent Underage Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Even though it may seem like it, not everyone is “doing it.” A recent nationwide survey conducted by “Monitoring the Future” (MTF), found that just about 53.3% of high school seniors have never tried alcohol or illegal drugs.
Here are 7 tips to help teens to deal with the challenges associated with underage drinking and drug use:
Step 1: Birds of a Feather – The people that we spend our time with can heavily influence our decisions, and you may be at increased risk if you hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs.
Step 2: Think Ahead – Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug abuse. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, if you need them to pick you up. Also, create a plan in advance for attending parties, or going out with your friends and inform your parents about them so that you are on the same page.
Step 3: Don’t Be Afraid, Say “No” – The fear of a negative reaction from one of our friends, or someone we’ve recently met, keeps us from thinking clearly and doing what we know is right sometimes. Don’t let someone else force a decision that they have made for their life onto yours. Say NO!
Step 4: Talk to Mom & Dad…or an Aunt or Uncle – Having people close to you that you can rely on creates a support system that can help you make tough decisions about alcohol and drugs. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can be invaluable and will only help you to put things into perspective.
Step 5: Educate Yourself – Don’t rely on the myths and misconceptions that are floating around amongst your friends, or the internet. Educating yourself increases your ability to make the right decisions, at the right time. As you learn, share what you’ve learned with your friends and your family so that they too can be empowered. See educational resources here.
Step 6: Speak Up, Speak Out & Take Control – Take responsibility of your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends and your community, and encourage others to do the same. If you, or someone you know, is having trouble with alcohol or drugs, get help now. Don’t wait!
Step 7: Don’t Include Alcohol or Drugs – Learn how to enjoy life without incorporating alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are and limit your life’s potential. If you find that you have extra time that you may be spending unwisely, get involved in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts, or even volunteering.
These 7 tips to help teens will not only limit the amount of exposure to situations associated with drugs and/or alcohol, but they will also help to empower you so that you can help others to do the same. If you think that you, or a friend, may have a problem with alcohol or drug abuse, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help right now. (305) 273-3744 Ext. 7232