1. Keep Track Of Your Teen- Know who their friends are, where they are at, and what they are up to. Insist on these parameters early on and there will be less friction with these actions. Ask questions and make your home a welcoming place so that you know what is going on in your child’s life.
2. Insist On Random Drug Screens- If teens know that they may be screened fro drugs and alcohol they are less likely to engage in these activities, and it gives them an out with peer pressure. Make it a habit to screen at least once a month, and make an effort to randomize the pattern of screening.
3. Make The House Rules And Any Consequences Very Clear- Discuss drug and alcohol use with your child, and let them know what the rules are in your home. Make sure that the discussion includes all of the consequences that will follow if any of these rules are broken, and make sure to follow through on this when an infraction occurs.
4. Stay Involved In Your Teen’s Life- Take the time to talk with your child every day, and pay attention to their attitude and emotional state of mind. If you suspect something is troubling your teen do not stop until you find out what this is. This can help you minimize any substance abuse and get help early on, before the substance abuse can get too far out of control. Volunteer at school and in after school activities. You will get to spend time with your child and will understand what they go through each day.