January 26, 2023

Join us for our Coalition Networking Meeting!

Parents: How to Help Your Teen Stay Drug Free!

1) Talk with your teen often.

Communication with your teen is key to building a trusting relationship. Parents are involved in their child's lives and can discuss the dangers of using substances. They can help their children to focus on healthy goal, future plans, and positive relationships. Find strategies for all ages here.

2) Set expectations that your teen will not use substances.

Parents who communicate their beliefs that using drugs and alcohol is not acceptable have a positive effect on their teens. Research shows that parental disapproval acts as a deterrent to teen substance use.

3) Support healthy alternatives for your teen.

Teens who have healthy hobbies like music or athletics are less likely to use substances. Positive alternatives to substance use that are supported by parents have a long-lasting positive impact on teens.

4) Do not provide drugs or alcohol to your teen.

Remember that parents need to be parents, not friends. Establishing healthy boundaries for teens by not providing substances is important as teen brains are still developing. Delaying any substance use into adulthood is a key prevention strategy. Find out more here.

5) Practice refusal skills with your teen.

Having a way to say no is important for every teen. Work through scenarios where your teen verbalizes how to refuse drugs. He/she can use phrases like, "my parents drug test me," or "I can't use drugs because I have soccer practice tomorrow". Being confident and having a clear plan empowers your teen to live drug free.

6) Establish and communicate consequences.

When teens understand that there will be unpleasant consequences for drug or alcohol use, they have another reason to stay substance free.

7) Prioritize healthy habits with sleep and nutrition.

Making healthy choices with regard to sleep habits and food choices boosts overall well being. Poor mental health is connected to substance use, so being sure that healthy daily behaviors and self care are prioritized can optimize substance prevention efforts for teens.

8) Make time for family activities.

Having positive and healthy relationships with family and friends protects teens from unhealthy and dangerous choices like substance use and abuse. Make sure to prioritize fun activities with your teen to strengthen these relationships and boost mental health.

9) Intervene early.

If you suspect that your teen is struggling with substance use, use resources like drug testing and screenings to intervene early. SAMHSA’s National Helpline (1-800-662-HELP) is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Teen Substance Use & Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

Estimated rates of co-occurring mental illness among adolescents with substance use disorders range from 60 to 75 percent. Among adolescents with no prior substance use, the rates of first-time use of drugs and alcohol in the previous year are higher in those who have had a major depressive episode than in those who did not. Other commonly documented co-occurring mental disorders include conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Youth who experience a major depressive episode were twice as likely to begin using alcohol or an illicit drug, compared to youth who had not experienced a major depressive episode.
  • Youth who experienced serious depression were twice as likely to use alcohol as their peers who had not been seriously depressed. Over 29 percent of youth who had not used alcohol previously initiated alcohol use following a major depressive episode within the past year, compared with 14.5 percent of youth who had not experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.
  • Similarly, many more youth who had not previously used illicit drugs did so after a major depressive episode. Sixteen percent of youth who had not used an illicit drug in the past year initiated illicit drug use after a major depressive episode, compared with 6.9 percent of youth who had not experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.

We are proud to partner with TurnTo for resources for Texans!

No matter how big or small your struggle, the way you feel matters. #TurnTo a trusted person or place to make sure you're ready for anything that comes your way. Check out the available resources at http://turntosupportstx.org

Follow us on Instagram @drugfreemckinney

Contact Us:

We'd love to hear from you about getting connected with substance prevention in Collin County!