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How to prevent drug use in young people? 8 tips

How to prevent drug use in young people? 8 tips

June 21, 2024

Although at present it has been achieved that the society in general shows an absolute rejection to the consumption of drugs and is no longer considered as an attractive and interesting habit, there is still a large number of people consuming addictive substances, especially among the young and adolescent population .

However, there are a series of guidelines or recommendations that we can carry out from our role as parents, family or friends, to prevent young people from becoming addicted to drugs , as well as to stop the development of addiction if it has already begun.

  • Related article: "Types of drugs: know their characteristics and effects"

Adolescence and the risk of drug use

Adolescence and post-adolescence it is a highly confusing and complicated period of life. The fact that we do not yet have a fully formed identity, makes us highly influential and susceptible people, since during this time the most desired goal is to fit and feel part of something.

This need to fit, together with the influence of our peers, the media, television, the press and our own attitude of rebellion, together with the need to experience new things; make this period a risk factor to start and develop a drug addiction.

It is necessary to specify that, when we talk about drug addiction not only refers to the most serious addictions or the strongest drugs and destructive, the daily consumption of drugs such as cannabis is increasingly high and in the medium-long term can also lead to dire consequences.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Addiction: disease or learning disorder?"

Why do some young people use drugs?

As we mentioned earlier, adolescence is a stage of life extremely committed to drug use. However, there is not a single factor that causes a young person or adolescent to be attracted to any type of drug.

Social or group pressure is usually one of the main causes whereby a teenager decides to start using a drug. The need to fit in and feel part of the group, as well as the pressure that this can exert at the time of consumption may be sufficient to initiate consumption.

Similarly, this stage of life is often marked by strong feelings of incomprehension and confusion, as well as lack of self-esteem or self-confidence can generate high levels of frustration that can lead to drug use as an escape route to these emotions.

At other times, drug use it develops as an act of rebellion . A way of expressing the nonconformity that the adolescent experiences with what surrounds him. Drug use can be seen as a form of disobedience, both to parents or guardians and to the rest of society in general.

Finally, a little knowledge of the real effects of any type of drugs and the influence of some media that still show the consumption of these as something attractive and even interesting, favor the attractiveness and fascination that they cause on young people .

  • Related article: "The 3 stages of adolescence"

8 guidelines to prevent drug use in adolescents

Despite all this, there are still things that family members, friends or society in general can carry out to help diminish, and even avoid, the use of drugs by the youngest.

1. Inform

Despite the fact that there are currently numerous campaigns carried out by institutions and educational centers in which they try to inform young people about the risks of drug use, as family members and people with teenagers around us, we become also in direct prevention agents.

This means that we do not have to wait for adolescents to receive information about drugs from abroad, we ourselves can inform ourselves well and transmit that information , since the fact that it is someone close and trustworthy who transmits it can also be positive.

2. Develop your social skills

In a lot of cases, teenagers start in the world of drugs because someone from your own friendship group offers them . In these cases the lack of social skills, as well as a poor emotional education and assertive techniques cause that, along with the fear of being rejected, the adolescent accepts the consumption.

Knowing this, education in social skills that allow young people to say "no" without any kind of fear is essential to prevent them from initiating consumption.

3. Encourage the development of positive self-esteem

If the fear of not fitting in is that a large part of adolescents do not have sufficiently high self-esteem or do not feel confident enough about themselves, we will find in these traits a very important risk factor for drug use.

Thus, help the development of a high self-esteem that gives them security in themselves It will also be of great relevance when it comes to preventing young people from resorting to drugs as a way to feel better about themselves.

4. Develop the critical sense

A well-informed adolescent with sufficient security will be much more capable of developing a critical sense of drug use. If we get the young man to judge drugs as they are , as much for physical integrity, as psychological and social, we will make it possible for it to refuse to consume any type of narcotic or addictive substance.

5. Encourage dialogue

Try talking to teenagers, show interest in their concerns, not judge and earn their trust , will help them feel comfortable talking with us, tell us their problems. In this way, it will be much easier for us to help them to solve them positively and not have to resort to drugs as an escape route or a way to avoid or forget them.

6. Do not try to overprotect them

Although this overprotection is no more than a reflection of the concern that parents or acquaintances feel about the habits of the youngest, these behaviors tend to be counterproductive.

Young people should perceive in their parents, relatives or guardians an attitude of acceptance, a place to turn to when they feel bad or distressed and, for this, we must convey that we are open to it but without being overwhelming .

7. Do not be authoritarian

At the beginning of the article we commented that adolescence is characterized by being a time of rebellion, in which going against what is imposed or established is almost a vital necessity.

Therefore, the styles of authoritarian education in which parents or guardians impose their opinion or their way of living uncompromisingly will not be effective at all when it comes to avoiding drug use. In any case it is always better to resort to dialogue and consensus .

8. Be consistent with our actions

We will rarely be able to prevent adolescents from consuming any type of drugs if they are also consumed at home. In the same way, for the message against drugs to be transmitted in the most effective way possible, our attitude towards them must also be stable and coherent.

Helping a teen who is using Drugs (June 2024).

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