The more risk factors that an adolescent is presented with, the more likely they are to engage in substance abuse in Fort Lauderdale. Risk factors can vary in severity at different stages of development and are strongly influenced by protective factors. An essential goal of prevention is to outweigh risk factors, such as peer pressure and bullying, with protective factors like a strong parent-child bond.
Early Risk Factors
There are some risk factors for drug misuse that can be identified as early as infancy or childhood. Common examples include a lack of self-control, difficult temperament, and aggressive behavior. As the child develops, his interactions with family members, friends, teachers, and other students can affect his risk for drug abuse or alcoholism later on. There are situations at home that can also heighten a child’s risk for later substance abuse, including a caregiver who abuses drugs, poor parenting, and a lack of nurturing.
When an adolescent is facing major changes in their life, they deal with greater risks for developing abuse problems. When a child transitions from elementary school to middle school, they encounter new types of experiences and social interactions. It’s at this age that adolescents are likely to face alcohol or drugs for the first time. High school brings additional pressure and challenges from social, educational, and emotional factors. Combined with greater exposure to drugs through peers and social activities, the risk of teen substance abuse increases dramatically. Once youths leave their home environment for work or to attend college, the risk factors for abuse surface again and can be dangerously high.
Risk factors present themselves at every stage of a child’s development, making prevention a major factor in strengthening your adolescent’s resistance to drug abuse and alcoholism. Recognizing when a child is doing poorly in school, either socially or academically, and intervening with programs that can increase protective factors can reduce their risk for drug abuse. Protective factors that can balance these risks include a strong bond between the parent and child, clear discipline, and parental involvement in the child’s life.