Focus on skill development.

Helping your teen develop social coping skills like problem solving, the ability to stand up for beliefs and values, and belief in their ability to control what happens – all make your teen a partner in prevention and better able to make healthy decisions when they’re on their own. Also, encourage them to engage in activities that contribute to healthy personal development, accepting rules and community values, and choosing friends who do not use harmful substances. Make “no-use” a family rule.

Have family dinners often.

Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (5 to 7 per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than 3 per week) are almost 4 times likelier to use tobacco; more than twice as likely to use alcohol; 2 ½ times likelier to use marijuana; and almost 4 times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future. CASAColumbia.

Spend time with your teens.

Just spending time with your teens is a protective factor. Compared to teens who spend 21 hours or more per week with their parents, teens spending 7 hours or less are twice as likely to use alcohol, and twice as likely to say they expect to try drugs (including marijuana and prescription drugs without a prescription to get high) in the future. CASAColumbia.

Teach by example.

Parental example is a determinant of adolescent drug use. Children whose parents abuse alcohol or other drugs face heightened risks of developing substance-abuse problems themselves. There are an estimated eleven million such children under age eighteen in the United States. Every day, these youngsters receive conflicting and confusing messages about substance abuse. ONDCP.