Your Child's Future

Find out how to help your child avoid drug abuse

Teens who experiment with drugs put their health and safety at risk. You can help prevent teen drug abuse by talking to your teen about the consequences of using drugs and the importance of making healthy choices.

Turning to Drugs

Various factors can contribute to teen drug abuse, from insecurity to a desire for social acceptance. Teens often feel indestructible and might not consider the consequences of their actions, leading them to take dangerous risks — such as abusing legal or illegal drugs. Common risk factors for teen drug abuse include: a family history of substance abuse, a mental or behavioral health condition, such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, early aggressive or impulsive behavior, a history of traumatic events, such as experiencing a car accident or being a victim of abuse, low self-esteem or poor social coping skills, feelings of social rejection, lack of nurturing by parents or caregivers, academic failure, relationships with peers who abuse drugs, or drug availability or belief that drug abuse is acceptable.

Consquences of Use

Teens who abuse drugs are more likely to have poor judgment. Recent studies have proven that young adults that less active in their community tend to abuse drugs more than their peers. Teens who abuse drugs are at increased risk of serious drug use later in life. Use of drugs, such as marijuana, might affect a teen's memory, motivation and ability to learn. Ecstasy can cause liver damage and heart failure. High doses of or chronic use of methamphetamine can cause psychotic behavior. Chronic use of inhalants can harm the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Abuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications can cause respiratory distress and seizures.

SAFETY First

Preventing teen drug use should be an important focus of every parent's life. The effects of teen drug use on teenagers and their families is devastating, and can ruin the future prospects of an otherwise promising teen. SAFETY (Substance Abuse: Fighting for the Education and Treatment of Youth) is a non-profit, volunteer after-school program, run by the people of the community. Each child has the opportunity to discover talents, develop skills, and also to learn that drug use is never the answer to any problem.