How to Start a Conversation With Your Child About Drugs
- Ask your child what might happen if they use drugs or alcohol. This gets your child to think about their future, what their boundaries are around substance use and alcohol. Ask them what are some possible negative consequences that could happen to them by using drugs or alcohol.
- Use every day events in your life to point out things you would like your child to know about. Point out alcohol and drug-related situations in celebrity headlines, or stories going on in your own community that show the consequences of alcohol and drug use. Take advantage of “teachable moments.” When watching TV together, ask if the shows and advertising make drug use look acceptable and routine? Or, do they show its downside? How did that program make your child feel about drugs?
- Share stories. Stories of people in recovery and stories of those who died as a result of drugs and alcohol can be powerful teaching tools. Ask your teen his or her thoughts and feelings after hearing or reading the stories.
- Ask your child about drugs and alcohol, what do they know about them? Does anyone in his or her school use drugs or alcohol? Any of their friends? Have they ever been offered to drink or use any type of drugs?
- If there is a history of addiction or alcoholism in your family, then your child has a much greater risk of developing a problem. Be aware of this elevated risk and discuss it with your child regularly, as you would with any disease. Learn about other risks and why teens use.