8 Tips to Prevent Teen Problems From Turning Into Addictions

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26 May 8 Tips to Prevent Teen Problems From Turning Into Addictions

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If your teen is struggling with problems in their life, you may be concerned that they’ll turn to substance abuse as a method of coping. If these problems remain unchecked, they have the potential to turn into real addictions. Recovering from substance abuse and dependence is a long and difficult process—it’s much easier to help your teen avoid turning to drugs in the first place by addressing their issues early. Here are eight tips to help your teen avoid a drug addiction.

8 Tips to Prevent Teen Problems From Turning Into Addictions

By Julie Klukas

  • Encourage Your Teen to See a Therapist or Counselor

    By Julie Klukas

    Many teens who experience mental health issues would benefit from seeing a therapist or counselor. Teens who engage in substance abuse are often looking to self-medicate in order to escape their psychological or emotional problems. [Therapy or counseling](http://www.newportacademy.com/treatment-program/) will help your teen find long-lasting solutions for their issues so that they don't turn to dangerous coping methods like self-medication.

  • Help Your Teen Find Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress

    By Julie Klukas

    Addiction often starts when people look for ways to cope with stress or anxiety. Help your teen find healthy methods of coping with stress so they aren’t as tempted to turn to drugs. These coping methods could include joining a youth sports team, learning to play an instrument, taking up [yoga](http://www.teenrehab.org/7-positive-effects-of-yoga-in-teens/) or engaging in [meditation](http://www.teenrehab.org/4-ways-meditation-can-help-with-mental-health/).

  • Inform Your Teen of Any Family History With Addiction

    By Julie Klukas

    A tendency toward addiction can run in the family, so be sure you know of any family history of substance abuse. If there is such a history, sit down with your teen and let them know. Understanding that addiction runs in the family may prevent your teen from experimenting with substances if they learn about what other family members have experienced.

  • Help Your Teen Maintain an Active Lifestyle

    By Julie Klukas

    [Research](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276339/) has shown that people who are physically active may have a stronger resistance to addiction. Teens who exercise and stay healthy are also more likely to avoid substance abuse altogether due to the time management skills they develop and the support of parents, coaches and teammates.

  • Find a Mentor for Your Teen

    By Julie Klukas

    For a teen, having older people they can rely on for support and advice can help them avoid substance abuse. A [mentor](http://www.teenrehab.org/how-to-help-your-teen-find-a-mentor/) provides your teen the opportunity to learn from another adult’s life experiences, and you may find your teen is more comfortable opening up to a mentor than a parent.

  • Help Your Teen Discover Their Passions

    By Julie Klukas

    Teens who are involved in activities like sports, hobbies or art are motivated to stay in shape mentally and emotionally. They don’t want to jeopardize their passions by turning to substance abuse, and their passions may help them cope with life’s stressors.

  • Educate Your Teen About the Consequences of Substance Abuse

    By Julie Klukas

    Teens may be hearing from their peers that drugs aren’t all that bad, that drugs aren’t addictive or that only doing drugs once won’t hurt them. Ensure your teen is properly educated about [substance abuse](http://www.teenrehab.org/5-common-myths-about-substance-abuse/) as well as the side effects and the long-term consequences of abuse and addiction.

  • Talk to Your Teen About Peer Pressure

    By Julie Klukas

    Many teens start abusing drugs and alcohol due to peer pressure from friends or classmates. Give your teen some suggestions on how they can [deal with peer pressure](http://www.teenrehab.org/help-your-teen-deal-with-peer-pressure/) by working with them on practicing ways to say no and avoiding certain situations where peers may push them to use drugs. If they have a response ready, they'll be more likely to maintain a sober and satisfying life.

Feature Image: Jordan McQueen

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