Why is it important for families to talk about substance abuse?

Sometimes, it's difficult to distinguish normal teenage behaviors or anxiety from substance use. Family members can help reduce risk by educating themselves sharing what they learn with youth, and intervening right away if they sense problems are developing.

Recognizing the difference between casual experimentation, unhealthy substance use, and a full-blown substance use disorder can be challenging for parents. The essence of preventing escalation lies in delaying the onset of a teen's first drug use.

Understanding the risk and protective factors can guide parents in fostering an environment that diminishes the allure of substance experimentation and prioritizes mental well-being


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