How to Talk to Your Teen About Drugs: The Dos and Don’ts : Drug use is a problem that preys on people of all ages. Teens that are under a lot of pressure may turn to drugs in their time of need. Drug education is important, but sending a tone-deaf message will make things worse.
When looking at the best rehab for teens, the message is the biggest standout. When talking to teens about drug use, what do you consider a good message? Every individual will have a different reaction, and sometimes flexibility is a must.
Giving a generic message to teens about drugs will confuse an already delicate situation. Tailor your message so that it meets the specific needs of the individual. And be prepared to pivot an in-process communication if you don’t think it holds their interest.
Once you’re satisfied with the outcome of your message, stick to its ideals. Any holes in your argument can be used against you by a teen at a later date.
Past Experience Is Not Always Good
The major ‘don’t’ of a drug message is glorifying the good old days. Past experience is good to pull from, but not great if it involves making drugs seem like a fun phase of your life. When teens are told something is fun but bad, the takeaway from the conversation will be completely unexpected. Instead of staying away from drugs, they are more likely to identify with the positive spin around being high.
A major problem with this positive spin is that it doesn’t take drug types into account. There are now more drugs than ever, and their potency is much higher than older drugs. Drug cocktails are common, with prescription drugs and a curious mind turning into a dangerous combination.
Past experience also gives teens ideas about drugs that they never considered trying. It may be unintended, but telling teens about a great high while using nitrous oxide will make them curious. Although whippets are something they can find out on their own, information about its use only personalizes the experience.
When talking about past experience, keep it light, and enforce the downfalls of using.
An adult talking about drugs to a teen can sometimes get overwhelming. By providing resources, you lessen the chance of your drug message turning into a sermon. Good resources can solidify a powerful antidrug message. It also shows a teen that you trust them enough to follow up with the information provided. Leave the floor open for questions after the original message, and for followup questions after the research is checked.
If staging an intervention, go in with a positive mindset. Not all meetings will end well, but that isn’t a reason to give up. Drug interventions are about recognizing a problem, and showing that support is available if needed. Instead of using it as a hammer to slam your point home, use interventions as a show of group strength.
Take It Slow
Information overload about drugs will turn your message inside out. Teenagers have keen senses, and will listen to messages that are clear and concise. Underage drug use is bad, and there is no reason to glorify its use.
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