Why Is Talking About
Ninety percent of addictions begin during the teen years when many children face peer pressure and the desire to carve out their own personal identities. Forming a bond with your child, especially during the teen years, helps reduce the odds they will use drugs and alcohol or engage in risky behaviors.
Conversations are one of the most powerful tools parents can use to connect with—and protect—their kids. But, when tackling some of life’s tougher topics, especially those about drugs and alcohol, just figuring out what to say can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are extensive resources to help parents find the right things to say.
Can Parents Use?
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offers parents a wide range of helpful resources, including information on:
- How to connect with kids no matter what their age – with specific tips for ages ranging from toddler to young adulthood
- How to talk to kids about specific threats, including underage drinking, prescription drug misuse, marijuana and other drugs
- How to spot signs that your child may be misusing drugs
- Special risk factors that might predispose a young person to misuse drugs, such as childhood trauma, or a family history of drug misuse, mental health or behavioral issues
- Common motivations for kids to misuse drugs, such as peer pressure, popular culture, escape, self-medication, boredom, rebellion, instant gratification, lack of confidence or misinformation
- Why kids behave the way they do, how their brains are developing and why it is so important to prevent alcohol and drug misuse during childhood and adolescence
Additional steps parents can take, from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, include:
- Build a warm and supportive relationship with their child
- Be good role models when it comes to drinking, taking medicine and handling stress
- Know their child’s risk level
- Know their child’s friends
- Monitor, supervise and set boundaries
- Have ongoing conversations about alcohol and drugs
Learn more about prevention at home: