Relationships and Teen Substance Abuse Prevention
There is growing concern about teen drug abuse across America – concerns that are certainly valid. And while it is but appropriate for communities to come together and initiate programs that aim to prevent substance abuse, it is that which is very basic that counts a lot when it comes to teen drug abuse prevention: personal relationships.
A study published in the Journal of Business Research shared that teens are less prone to give in to negative peer influence, particularly those involving the use of tobacco and alcohol, if they have a strong and nurturing relationship with their parents, and if their parents provide them with a strong sense of self.
And how does a parent provide their child with a strong sense of self? The Washington Times’ Rebecca Hagelin suggests “setting clear expectations, providing opportunities for the child to earn increasing independence, and projecting warmth, affirmation, love and forgiveness.”
Another relationship that influences teens is that which they have with their peers. An article in Child Development, by researchers from the University of Virginia, indicated that teens are “more likely to drink, smoke, or use drugs if their friends do.” This negative influence from peers becomes even stronger when the teen is missing a warm relationship with his or her parents.
Hagelin ends with the following advice to parents: “Work hard at building and maintaining a strong, warm relationship with your teen. But pay particular attention to your teen’s friends – substance-using friends are a GPS pointing your teen in the wrong direction.”Tags: teen drug abuse, teen peer pressure, teen substance abuse