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Is Substance Abuse a Normal Part of Adolescent Behaviour?

We inoculate. Seat belts are required in cars and helmets are required while biking. We are adamant about sunscreen. We do nearly everything possible to keep our children healthy, safe, and prepared for success. But why is it so easy to dismiss drinking alcohol or even smoking marijuana as "a rite of passage" or "just experimenting"?

Why do adolescents consume alcohol and other substances?

Fitting in

What parents can do:

  • Get to know your child's friends and their parents. Discuss their approach to supervision and stance on substance use with those parents.

  • Encourage your teen to socialize in your home. Allow them to have some privacy if possible, but keep an eye on them.

  • Assure your child that they can contact you at any time for pick-up, no questions asked.

  • Discuss their desire for acceptance and a sense of belonging. Remind them that true friends will allow them to be themselves and will not coerce them into doing anything they are uncomfortable with.


What parents can do:

  • Discover activities that will allow your teen to socialize in a healthy, safe, and supervised setting.

  • If your child is socializing at another person's house, be aware of their whereabouts. Call the parents in advance to confirm the date, time, and location of the event, as well as the presence of supervision.

  • Communicate your expectations and rules regarding your teen's outings with friends, and include regular check-ins.

  • Demonstrate healthy behaviour. Seek out opportunities to socialize and connect in non-alcohol environments.

For any further information regarding

the treatment of substance use disorder

please contact SANCA Horizon:

(011) 9175015 or


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