1. Talk to Your Teen- Talking with your teens can help prevent teen substance abuse. Discuss teen alcohol and drug use with your adolescents, even if it seems like they are not listening to you. Studies have shown that the message does get through even if you do not think you are making a difference.
2. Research Early Prevention Programs- Early prevention programs can drastically reduce teen substance abuse. Many programs show the positive side of staying sober, and this can help combat social media posts and other pro substance abuse messages that teens may come across.
3. Set a Good Example- The old saying do as I say not as I do does not work. Set a good example for your teens by showing them how to have fun and be responsible citizens without engaging in teen alcohol and drug abuse by avoiding these behaviors yourself. If you drink or use drugs then this sends a message that this behavior is acceptable.
4. Set Clear Rules and Consequences- Let your teens use you as a scapegoat against peer pressure. Set very clear rules, and make sure that your teens understand the consequences if these rules are broken. This gives them an out when friends are trying to pressure them into teen alcohol and drug use, and you can be the bad guy with their peers so they save face.
5. Look for Signs of Teen Substance Abuse- Stay vigilant and watch for any signs of possible teen substance abuse. Many parents perform home drug screens on their children so that any teen alcohol and drug use is discovered as early as possible.