Talk with Your Teen

As parents you are not helpless in the effort to prevent your kids from the dangers of substance abuse. It may not always feel like it, but your children are paying attention to what you say. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have such conversations.

So get talking! Experts say it’s never too early to talk about substance misuse and abuse. We know these may not be easy conversations to have. You may feel awkward, but simply by bringing up the issue of alcohol and drugs you are taking an important step at preventing your children from getting mixed up with them.

As kids get older they will be with peers and in social situations where they will be exposed to alcohol and drugs, including prescription drugs. You may consider role playing and discussing how they might get out of an awkward situation. You may also want to explain that no matter what, if they feel uncomfortable they can call you and you will pick them up from a party or gathering.

It’s important that kids, teens and young adults know they have someone to turn to when things get tough or if they have questions. The more approachable and open you appear, the more likely your kids are to come to you.
You can find more ideas on how to have these talks with children as young as 9, and up to age 20, on the Speak Now Colorado website.