Studies have shown that adolescents are at higher risk of taking alcohol and drugs, to the point of abuse. This has something to do with the fact that they are at the stage where they become more aware of their sexuality and peer-grouping. For many youth, being surrounded with friends or acquaintances that use drugs and alcohol keeps them under pressure to start experimenting on illegal substances, too.
However, a feature on Addictionpro.com says that teaching adolescents self-regulation is one of the surest way for parents, educators, and doctors to address drug use and dependence among teenagers. MRI studies demonstrate that several development processed in the brain continue throughout adolescence. Therefore, educating teenagers about appropriate self-regulation skills can go a long way in keeping them off the use and dangers of drugs.
The report stressed that while brain maturation cannot be stopped by parents and youth-serving professionals, they can surely influence it. Always considering the possibility that some youth may make the potentially life-altering decision to become involved with drugs, including prescription drugs, one path for parents and treatment providers may be to teach important skills that may be a “weakness” for the adolescent brain. SAMHSA’s NREPP process lists these skills as impulse control; “second” thought processes; social decision-making; dealing with risk situations, and taking healthy risks.