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Prevention – Tips For High School-Aged Adolescents

Send Clear Messages
• Set clear rules about not using alcohol other drugs or misusing prescriptions and be explicit about the dangers of their use.
• As young people go through their teenage years, they often challenge authority. That is why it is important to be consistent in providing consequences for breaking the rules. For example, some parents choose to identify specific privileges that could be taken away if a rule is broken.
• Explain why these rules are important and that they exist because you care about them.
• Make it clear that alcohol or other drug use can get in the way of your child’s goals and dreams.
• Support the steps they take toward earning and keeping your trust.
• Reward them when they make good choices.

Stay Involved
• When your adolescent goes out, make sure you know the “who, what, where, and when.”
• In high school, adolescents need to gain their sense of independence by making some of their own decisions. You can help them by offering ideas for healthy activities.

Watch the Wheels
• Parental monitoring is especially important when your child begins driving.
• Alcohol and many drugs impair judgment, which is critical when safely operating a motor vehicle.
• Individuals who drive under the influence put themselves and their friends at risk of serious injury or death.
• Creating a “driving contract” reduces the likelihood that your child will drive under the influence or ride with someone who has been using. The contract should outline your expectations that your child will not use alcohol or other drugs and will not ride with someone who has been using alcohol or other drugs. And if they violate the contract, they’ll lose their driving and other privileges for a set period of time.

Questions about Your Own Use
• Your children look up to you and may copy your behavior. That is why it is important that you are thoughtful about what they hear you say or see you do.
• When your child asks questions about your own alcohol, or other drug use, sharing details may be harmful. Research suggests that when you describe your past drug use to your child, you may be undercutting your message that they should not use drugs.
• Keep the focus on your children and your concern for them.
• If you are concerned about your child’s use of alcohol, other drugs, or misuse of prescriptions, we can help.

For  free and confidential information and referral services for youth and young adults (up to age 24) who are experiencing a problem with one of these substances, contact BSAS’ Youth Central Intake & Care Coordination service

or call

Toll Free:  866-705-2807 /   617-661-3991
TTY:  617-661-9051

Your health insurance provider can also inform you of services.

Thank you for helping to stop addiction in its tracks.

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Posted June 2015
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to offer specific medical advice and should not be used for diagnosing or treating particular conditions. For questions about your own health, ask your doctor.