1. Watch for signs of drug use. Hopefully you are able to prevent drug use altogether, but you should also watch for signs such as depression, falling grades, isolation, and change in friends, and find help if you suspect your child is using drugs.
2. Keep all prescription drugs put away. If someone in your family does take prescription drugs, be sure that your teen cannot get their hands on them. Properly & immediately dispose of any leftover prescriptions. So many young people today have easy access to all sorts of drugs in their parents’ medicine cabinets. Don’t make it easy for them to try drugs.
3. Keep your child active. Students that have a goal they are working toward in life or are busy with sports or music are much less likely to get involved with drugs.
4. Take care of their emotions. Teens today are under a lot of pressure with school, sports, and relationships. Be careful that they are not too worried or stressed about these things. Teach them good techniques to handle stress.
5. Model good behavior. If your teen sees you doing things like getting drunk, smoking, or self-medicating somehow, they will be more likely to do so themselves, and sometimes this can lead to worse habits, like drug or alcohol abuse.
6. Don’t leave your child unsupervised for long. In a world where many families require 2 incomes or single parents are raising children, this may be difficult, but it is so important to not just leave your child to fend for themselves after school. The time when most teens get into trouble or start a harmful behavior is the time between school letting out and when their parents get home.
7. Know your child’s friends. If you are suspicious of whom your teen is spending time with, talk to them. Invite the friends over to your house to get to know them. If you have concerns about their friends, talk to your child about it.
8. Know where your teen is. Teens should follow household rules about curfew and keeping you informed about where they are going. If something doesn’t seem quite right, don’t be afraid to question your child about where they’ve been. You are the adult and the sooner your child sees that you are going to check up on them, the better.
9. Talk to your child about drugs, and do it early. An ongoing dialog is the best way for your teen to know that you have an understanding of the temptations they face, and are going to do what you can to help them.
10. Know your child. If you work on your relationship with your child when they are young, it will be easier to talk about drugs and know what they are up to when they are older. Build a bond early so it can survive those tough teenage years.