If you suffered from addiction in the past but are now in recovery, you will be keen to ensure that your children do not follow the same destructive path that you did. You now have the benefit of knowing exactly what alcohol or drug addiction can do to an individual, and so you will be desperate to make sure your children do not make the same mistakes that you did.
Why Teenagers Start Drinking or Taking Drugs
All teenagers are at risk of addiction if they take drugs or drink alcohol. However, your children are at higher risk because of the fact that you had an addiction. You may think that having witnessed your struggles and the impact that this had on family life would make your kids keen to stay away from drugs or alcohol, but the truth is that children of addicts often end up with addictions themselves.
In most cases, teenagers are introduced to chemical substances such as drugs and alcohol when they reach high school. They may be pressurised into trying these substances by their peers, or it may simply be curiosity or wanting to experiment.
Your children may view alcohol or drugs as a way of life and might be comfortable with these substances because they have been exposed to them for much of their lives. It is your job to do all that you can to ensure that they do not fall into the same trap that you did.
How to Prevent Your Child from Developing Addiction
There is no way to guarantee that your child will not become addicted to alcohol or drugs, but you can do things to prevent this from happening. It is important that you show your children how good life is now that you are no longer dependent on drugs or alcohol.
Your kids will already know the damage that addiction can do, but they need to see an enormous improvement in their quality of life now that you are in recovery. Make the most of your sobriety and set about doing fun things together that do not involve drugs or alcohol.
Adopt a Drug-Free Home
If you are in recovery from addiction, your home may already be free from alcohol, but you also need to get rid of any medications that are not absolutely necessary. Many teenagers will take pills from their home and become addicted to them before developing an addiction to illegal drugs.
If it is necessary for prescription medication to be kept in the home, make sure it is locked away and out of reach of your children.
Set a Good Example
Your kids need to know that drinking and drug taking is unacceptable. Do not allow them to use your past problems as an excuse to try drugs or alcohol. Make sure they are fully aware that you were ill and that they are at risk of suffering the same illness if they take drugs or alcohol.
Ensure that you do not instil the idea that drugs can cure all illnesses. Many people will reach for painkillers at the slightest sign of a headache or other minor ailment, but it is important that your children learn that drugs of all kinds should only be used as a last resort.
Be honest with your kids about your experiences with alcohol or drug addiction and continue to work hard on your sobriety. You have the chance to set a good example for your children and to give them the chance of making the right decisions when it comes to taking drugs or drinking alcohol. They have the benefit of seeing both the dangers of addiction and the benefits of living a sober life through your experiences.