Being Adept Insight #1
Talking to a family member or friend about their substance use is very difficult. We recommend talking to another trusted adult first. A teacher, mentor, coach or therapist will be able to help you find ways of bringing up the topic in a safe way. It is important never to talk to someone about their use while they are under the influence as this can be dangerous.
Being Adept Insight #2
During the middle school years adolescents begin the natural process of separating from their parents and exploring their individuality. They start to become very sensitive to social rewards and start engaging in behaviors that will allow them to fit in with their peers. Because of this, teens are likely to exhibit behaviors they never have before, such as succumbing to peer pressure and acting out as a means of fitting in.
Being Adept Insight #3
Kids have said the motivation to use has changed from "having fun and feeling cool" to "escaping from stress and painful feelings." Teens undergo a tremendous amount of stress and need healthy habits in place for them to relieve that stress. Understanding that drugs and alcohol do not fix problems, they merely delay and then amplify them, helps kids turn to healthier alternatives such as exercise in times of stress.
Being Adept Insight #4
Talking to kids in their middle school years about drugs and alcohol reduces their risk of substance abuse later in life. Setting boundaries and getting kids involved in extracurricular activities that they love early on is a great way to minimize your child's risk for experimenting in times of stress. "The longer you can keep someone from using, they learn other ways of coping."