Teens, Drugs, and Violence

Teens who use drugs are more likely to engage in violent behavior, steal, abuse other drugs, and join gangs. But you, as a parent, are the most powerful influence on your teen when it comes to using illicit drugs. Here are some tips to keep your teen drug-free and prevent delinquent behavior down the road:

Monitor your teen. Know who your teen’s friends are and make a point to meet their parents. Know where your teen is and what he/she is doing during unsupervised time, especially after school between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The rate of violent acts committed during this period is nearly six times greater than the rate committed during night-time hours (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.). 1

Be a role model to your teen. Teens join gangs for a variety of reasons: some seek excitement; others are looking for prestige, protection, income, or a sense of belonging. But, research shows that teens who are engaged with their family or community are less likely to turn to drugs or violence. Set a good example for your teen by being a consistent, positive presence in his/her life.

Get your teens involved in after-school activities, such as sports and volunteer opportunities. It is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of them falling into negative behaviors. For ideas on volunteer opportunities, visit TheAntiDrug.com’s Partner section.

During the summer, when teens are typically not in school, it’s important to create some type of structure for a daily routine. To learn more about how to create structure for your teen’s life while school’s out, visit TheAntiDrug.com’s School’s Out section.

Source: ParentingTips@TheAntiDrug.com

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