How Can I Keep My Child From Getting Involved With Marijuana?

Family Dinner Table
Family Dinners Can Make a Huge Difference. © Getty Images

Question: How Can I Prevent My Child From Getting Involved With Marijuana?

Answer: There is no magic bullet for preventing teenage drug use. But parents can be influential by talking to their children about the dangers of using marijuana and other drugs, and remain actively engaged in their children's lives.

Even after teenage children enter high school, parents can stay involved in schoolwork, recreation, and social activities with their children's friends.

Research shows that appropriate parental monitoring can reduce future drug use, even among those adolescents who may be prone to marijuana use, such as those who are rebellious, cannot control their emotions, and experience internal distress.

Get Involved in Their Lives

To address the issue of drug abuse in your area, it is important to get involved in drug abuse prevention programs in your community or your child's school. Find out what prevention programs you and your children can participate in together.

There are numerous resources, many right in your own community, where you can obtain information so that you can talk to your children about drugs. To find these resources, you can consult your local library, school, or community service organization.

More Tips for Parents

Here are more tips for parents about keeping their children away from substance abuse:

Talk With Your Children
These tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about preventing teen binge drinking can also help with preventing use of marijuana and other drugs.

Parenting Style Can Make a Difference
Here is a look a different types of parenting "styles" and which ones can make a difference in whether are not your child decides to use alcohol and drugs at an early age.

Begin the Conversation Early
If your children feel they can talk with you about their problems and you respect their feelings and opinions, they will be less likely to turn to drugs, research has shown.

Sit Down Together at the Dinner Table
The number of times you sit down with your children for family meals - and actually talk to them - is directly correlated with a decreased chance they will become involved in substance abuse, research has found.

Take Your Kids to Church
Several scientific studies have found that teens involved in religious activities are half as likely to have substance abuse problems, even if they have a family history of alcoholism.