How to delay teen drug use

Research shows us that delaying the onset of first use is critical in preventing substance use disorder. 90% of Americans with substance use disorder began using before age 18. Some strategies that research shows will help young people delay or avoid drug use include:

BUILDING SOCIAL SKILLS Practicing social skills like decision-making, communication, assertiveness, and refusal skills is crucial to preventing or delaying the onset of substance use.

ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT HEALTHY DECISIONS Understanding how peers, media, and role models at home, in the community, and at school influence young people’s ability to make decisions.

NURTURE PROTECTIVE FACTORS Fostering interest in positive recreation and nurturing protective factors such as peer groups, community, and sporting activities can help to prevent and delay substance use in youth.

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