Parent Tip: Every parent faces issues with their children. Remember that you are not alone. Most importantly, start talking, keep talking, listen and take action.
10 Things You Can Do
- Discuss the risks associated with drug and alcohol use.
- Talk with your children about your values regarding drug and alcohol use and establish clear no use rules.
- Keep track of alcohol in your home and make sure teens can’t access it.
- Keep prescription drugs locked or hidden from children or teens. Dispose of unused or expired drugs.
- Connect with other families to keep our teens safe.
- Model appropriate behavior.
- Establish safety mechanisms if your child is in an unsafe situation.
- Praise your children for the positive choices and things they do.
- Try to eat meals together as a family as much as possible.
- Stay aware of your children’s grades, activities, and friendships
When to Intervene?
If you've discovered that your child is drinking or doing drugs, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath. You are not in this alone - there are many people who can and will help you. Start by talking with people you know, such as family members, friends, teachers, school counselors, sports team coaches, clergy, and your doctor. All of these people, along with many others, can help you get focused and determine what to do.
You can never be too safe or intervene too early - even if you believe your teen is just "experimenting”. Casual or experimental use can quickly turn into abuse, dependence or addiction; leading to accidents, legal trouble, and serious health problems. If you are at all concerned about your child - you can and should intervene.
Visit the Drug-Free Organization for a parent checklist with information and videos to help guide you through the steps above.
U.S. Department of Education: Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): samhsa.gov
Behavorial Health Treatment and Resources: samhsa.gov/treatment
Talk. They hear you: samhsa.gov/underage-drinking
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: drugfree.org
Stop Underage Drinking: stopalcoholabuse.gov
Parents Empowered: parentsempowered.org
Above the Influence: abovetheinfluence.com
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for Teens : teensdrugabuse.gov
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA): cadca.org