Research shows that when children have parents who are comfortable talking to them about drugs, they are less inclined to experiment with drugs. No matter how uncomfortable or inadequate a parent may feel about talking to their child about drugs, it is important to form an open line of communication with the child. Discussions about drugs should be age appropriate.

Topic Starters

  • What kinds of drugs go around your school?
  • Are there any kids at your school who do drugs?
  • Do the kids at school talk about drugs?
  • When I was in school…
  • How do you feel about drugs?

If drugs are mentioned on television, ask your child if he or she knows anything about the drug is that is being discussed. If they do not, give him or her a general idea of what the drug is. If the child is older, you can get more specific. Tell the child what the drug looks like, negative side effects of the, what it does, and what slang terms are used to describe it.

Teach your child that it is ok to say “no” to a friend who is asking him or her to try drugs (or alcohol). You may want to consider role playing with your child different ways he or she can say no. This will help your child feel more confident in saying no if he or she is ever offered to try a drug. Children can be taught that true friends will not pressure them to do something they feel is wrong.

Bring up the subject of drugs frequently. An easy way to bring up the subject of drugs is to mention something you read in the paper or heard on the news. Ask your child for his or her thoughts. Answer any questions your child may have about drugs and drug use.

Discussions about drugs are important. Try to make sure your child is educated about the dangers of drugs and give them information about how to say no to drugs and deal with peer pressure.