Adolescence is a time when young people are experimenting with their identity, trying to fit in with their peers, and facing significant academic and family pressures. It is common for them to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with these challenges.

Substance misuse can have a profound impact on teenagers' lives, leading to addiction, mental health problems, and serious long-term health consequences. It can also negatively affect their relationships, academic performance, and future prospects.

Preventing substance misuse in teenagers is crucial to ensuring their health and well-being. By taking a proactive approach and following a few simple tips, parents and caregivers can help reduce the risk of substance misuse among teenagers. It is essential to educate teenagers about the dangers of drug use, establish clear expectations and rules, promote healthy habits, encourage open communication, and seek professional help if necessary. By doing so, we can help our teenagers make positive choices and build a strong foundation for a healthy and successful future.

Here are some tips to prevent substance misuse in teenagers:

  • Educate teenagers: Teach teenagers about the dangers of substance misuse, the negative effects it can have on their health, and the legal consequences of drug use.

  • Encourage open communication: Create a safe and supportive environment that allows teenagers to express their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment or criticism. Encourage them to talk to you if they have any concerns or problems.

  • Set clear expectations: Set clear rules and boundaries around substance use, and enforce consequences if they are not followed.

  • Promote healthy habits: Encourage regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep to promote overall physical and mental health.

  • Seek professional help: If you notice signs of substance misuse, such as changes in behavior or mood, sudden changes in friends or activities, or increased secrecy, consider seeking the help of a mental health or addiction professional. Early intervention is key in preventing long-term problems.

We work closely with Young Hackney's Substance Misuse Service (YHSMS), who run a confidential drop-service in school every Thursday. We can also make individual referrals to the YHSMT for targetted one-to-one support, as can parents/carers via the link below.