Imagine every person in your town disappearing. In 2018, more than 65,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. That is about the population of many small-sized cities in the United States. Given this startling number, it is unsurprising why many people turn to online drug abuse courses for help with recovery. For many others, they wonder how they can prevent drug abuse, to begin with.

Because young people are the most vulnerable age group for trying drugs, the most successful prevention strategies involve reaching out to teens and pre-teens. If you want to know how to keep your children away from harmful substances, then here are five tips to consider.

1. Keep Communication Open

Ask your son or daughter what he or she thinks about drug use. Make the conversation a two-way dialogue. Often, parents allow fear to take control of the discussion. When this happens, questions become demands. In turn, it can be difficult to reach understanding.

2. Know Where Your Children Go

Another way to prevent your teen from using drugs is to keep up with his or her whereabouts. Where does he or she go after school? Who are his or her friends? Replacing unhealthy activities with ones where there is adult supervision can also be a way to reduce the risks of drug exposure.

3. Set Some Rules

While angry demands probably will not get you anywhere, you should still establish some rules and consequences. A key part of making rules is consistency. If your son or daughter decides to break a rule, be sure to hold him or her accountable with consistent consequences.

4. Lock Up Alcohol and Prescriptions

While alcohol and prescription medications often exist in the same house as young people, making sure you keep them out of your children’s access is a good way to avoid accidental or intentional misuse. Additionally, you may want to consider making an inventory of any medicines or adult beverages your stock may include.

5. Be an Example

At the end of the day, you set the example for your kids. If and when you consume alcohol, drink in moderation. Likewise, take prescriptions following doctor instructions, and avoid illicit drugs. By modeling healthy behavior, your children will have a standard to consider whenever it comes to engaging in similar actions.

Drug abuse prevention is on the top of many parents’ worries, but knowing what steps it should include can sometimes be challenging. Use this list as a guide to help you talk to the young people in your life.