Preventing Substance abuse in Children

It is easy for children to abuse substances like drugs and alcohol. And if they don’t receive the right help, they can become addicted and carry the habit into adulthood.

Hence, it is best to correct this potential addictive habit when they are young so that they can become sober and lead healthy lives.

You need to know that watching out for your children especially when it comes to substance abuse is one of the ways to ensure that don’t dabble into something that will affect their health in the long run.

Here are some tips to prevent substance abuse in children

Know your children’s friends

It is important to know the friends of your children, especially in school. This will help you know what they are likely to indulge in. It is equally vital to know the families they come from so that you can ascertain your child’s sobriety.

If you discover that the friends of your children have suspicious behavior that you cannot trust, it is best to keep your children away from them.

You can also reach out to the teachers at school to look into the habits of their students.

Watch what your children watch on social media

Sometimes, children pick up habits from social media which gets them to abuse drugs and alcohol. Therefore, make a conscious effort to check what your children feast on anytime they are on social media.

You can also take the extra step to help them understand some things and also explain to them why they should not indulge in everything they see online.

Educate them on the ills of substance abuse

On some occasions, putting fear in the heart of your children might be useful in helping them stay away from abusive substances.

This means you can spell out the dangers of substance abuse and how it affects them, with death being the final consequence.

If you can prove your points with solid evidence, you can be sure that they would reconsider their stance anytime they are faced with the pressure of indulging in substances.

Signs of substance abuse in Children

Your children might be struggling with substance abuse and you may not be aware. Children are at a high risk of abusing substances because of peer pressure, society, and social media.

Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to what your children do to know if they are already abusing substances or not.

Here are some common signs of substance abuse in children

Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

When you notice that your child no longer enjoys activities that they used to crave, it might be that substance abuse is in play.

This means that your child now prefers to spend time with their preferred substance instead of those activities that gave them joy. If you notice that this happens over time, then your child might be dealing with substance abuse.

Complete change of friends

Another way to know if your child is dealing with substance abuse is when they change their circle of friends.

It might be that their new clique of friends were the ones who introduced them to the substance abuse. Therefore, they are likely to leave their sober friends and follow the folks who would be regarded as the “cool guys.”


If you notice that your child is always getting angry or putting up violent acts, then they might be stuck on substance abuse. This means that the substance has began to change the way they respond to situations and events. So, they are likely to be more aggressive when things do not go as planned.


A child dealing with substance abuse will not want anyone to find out. They know that they will be disciplined or judged, so they prefer if no one knows what they are going through.

If you notice that your child is putting up secretive acts and they don’t want you to know, then substance abuse might be at play.

When you notice that your child might be struggling with substance abuse, you can seek help for them from an addiction treatment counselor or therapist.


Substance abuse is primarily the stage that individuals go through before they become fully addicted. This means that anyone who is addicted previously undergone the state of abuse.

Substances refer to either drugs or alcohol, excluding behaviors. In some cases, people are addicted to both alcohol and drugs.

It would interest you to know that substance abuse has great adverse effect on people, wreaking havoc on both their physical and mental health.

Below are some of the effects of substance abuse:

  1. Damage to the physical health: People who abuse substances are likely to suffer from damage to their physical organs, like the kidney, liver, heart amongst others. These organs are very delicate and they become dysfunctional when toxic substances are introduced to the body.

Usually, the effect is in the long term, but for some people, it could be sooner than expected.

  • Damage to the mental health: In addition to the destruction of the physical health, the mental health also suffers. People who abuse substances experience depression, anxiety amongst others. The fact is, mental health is highly associated with physical health so what affects one also affects the other.

When this happens, it becomes complicated to handle.

  • Reduction in productivity: People who abuse substances tend to have a decline in productivity. They do not focus on other productive tasks because of their abuse, and this affects them. For students, it becomes difficult for them to be academically serious. And for those who are at the workplace, their performance reduces.
  • No focus in life: As expected, it becomes difficult to focus in life when substance abuse is in motion. Only a minute number of them become successful in life, with their health still great because of the health measures they put in place.

To wrap it up, it is important for people to avoid substance abuse. At first, it looks like a harmless act. Eventually, they become hooked to it, and there is no way of escape.


Children are easily taken in by what they see and hear. This is why we need to be careful of what we do around them, so that they would not be led astray.

One of the reasons why children become addicted is because of what they get exposed to. And most times, it is because their parents are not around to supervise them.

People who are addicted today started the abusive acts when they were children and teenagers, and their case got worse because there was no one to stop them.

Now, it should be known that it is not the sole responsibility of parents to prevent their children from getting addicted, teachers also need to contribute their quota.

Parents and guardians can start by using graphic images to teach children about addiction. There are some images and pictures that show the effect of addiction on the internal organs.

Children are moved by what they see, and once they see those pictures, they would be discouraged from trying addictive acts.

In addition, parents need to be careful of what their children feed their eyes on, on the media. These days, the media has the capacity to corrupt anyone, and if care if not taken.

This is why parents need to be more observant than ever. Starting from cartoons, TV shows and the likes, they need to be vetted before children can see them.

Also, parents need to know the kind of gatherings their children attend. At some of these events, some of those children get exposed to what makes them abuse substances or behaviors, and from there, it becomes a full blown addiction.

Children who are properly educated about addiction, would most likely not grow up addicted. And owing to the effects that comes with addiction, it is better to prevent them from getting addicted, than to allow them grow up as addicted individuals.

Addiction is a compulsive brain disease which has the capacity to affect the health and wellbeing of an individual.


Children are individuals who are likely to be brought down with addiction, and this is due to the fact that they do not have the proper understanding of how addiction triggers work.

It becomes worse when the child grows up in an environment when these addictions are encouraged. Addiction is a known factor which has the capacity to destroy anyone, and children are not left out.

Most times, children of addicts usually turn out to be addicts, and this usually happens when they are not properly guided. These parents fail to properly explain to their children what is really going on, as they are of the assumption that, since they are children, they would barely understand.

Hence, they would rather keep quiet than speak to them.
Doing this is detrimental, based on the fact that a good number of kids bear these guilty feelings whenever their addicted parents acts in such a way that cannot be understood.

Truth be told, it is quite a herculean task having to explain addiction to a child, as they might find it confusing. However, there is no harm in trying, even though it is certain that it would take them much time to understand.

It is essential for your child to understand that addiction is an illness which makes their parents act in such a manner which is not acceptable of them. Now, knowing what exactly to say to the child, depends on the age, however, it does not still undermine the fact that addiction should still be talked about.

Children could find it difficult to understand that their addicted parent drinks and takes drugs on a regular basis, and hence, it influences their mode of thinking and actions, they need to be aware of the fact that their parents have no control over their actions.

If you are an addicted parent, it is essential that you prevent your child from going through what you are experiencing. They need to perfectly understand that the reasons for your actions, is not caused by them.

You need to ensure that your children do not grow up to be individuals who would be soaked in the well of addiction.