Sunday, March 1, 2020

How to Talk to Your Teens About Drug Abuse

How to Talk to Your Teens About Drug Abuse

When your kids begin to grow into their teen years, many things will change. Parents may notice their kids developing new hobbies and interests, leaving old ones behind and making new friends. Some of these shifts are great and help your children realize their full potential, but others can be riskier.
Teens experience more independence while they get their license and start applying to colleges. While they learn how to take care of themselves, they also see new parts of life — which may include both legal and illegal drugs, since teens and young adults notoriously embrace experimentation. 
As parents, it's hard to know when to bring up tough subjects and how to do it. However, you can read up on how to talk to your teens about drug abuse to make the conversation easier. Use these tips to drive your points home and protect your child's health. 

1. Avoid Over-Sensationalizing

Elementary and young middle school students may sit through presentations that inform them about drugs. Although a factual education is helpful, schools often it them with hyperboles. Even though they mean well, teachers and videos may present drugs as scary things that people peer pressure innocent kids to take. Teens may picture dark alleys or drug deals happening in the middle of the night.
Misinformation makes it challenging for kids to recognize the same risks when they come across drugs that appear harmless. They could find prescription medication at a friend's house or pass around a bong at a birthday party and think it's fine to try because there's nothing scary going on. Avoid over-sensationalizing drugs while you talk about them. Mention how they may appear unthreatening, but those tiny pills or packets can still destroy lives.

2. Explain Your Reasoning

Teens need to know information beyond how drugs may appear. Calmly state your preference that your kids avoid drugs and other substances, as they can impair memory and harm your body. Drugs are dangerous and illegal, and you want more for them than what comes with addiction.

3. Discuss the Consequences

Trying drugs may seem like a safe, one-time deal for teens, but there are immediate and long-term consequences to discuss. Talk about how drugs lead to hallucinations and paranoia, along with impaired muscle function and respiratory failure. 

4. Get Real With Side Effects

Harsh side effects must be a reality with teens. Drugs increase dopamine production, giving users an intense high. When the substance wears off, the brain craves that same high, which leads to addiction. Introducing drugs into your system starts this vicious cycle, whether or not your teen intends to experiment or just fit in.

5. Assure Their Safety

Teens often retreat from their parents and caretakers because they feel misunderstood. It's crucial to assure your child's safety if they ever have questions or concerns about drug use. You only want to help them out of love so that they can talk to you about anything.

Always Stay Honest When Talking About Drug Abuse

Teens can understand much more than parents may think. Stay honest about the realities of drug abuse, and they'll be more willing to listen and learn.


  1. Very good points. I'm glad I don't have kids.

  2. Most of us want to believe kids in our family will never get into drugs, but it can happen. Good kids can think 'I'll just try it.' But if the kids they hang out with keep doing it, and they keep trying it, addiction follows.

  3. When teens know they can talk to their parents about this issue, they will be more likely to say no to drugs! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is good advice.

  5. Ashley Chassereau ParksApril 7, 2020 at 8:35 PM

    It is so important to talk to our kids about the difficult subjects, one being drug use and abuse. I feel like those conversations should start even earlier than the teen years with peer pressure and the world being the way it is today. I agree that we have to let our kids know we understand them and their point of view and, hopefully, they will feel more comfortable taking to us about anything.

  6. Great advice. My kids aren't on drugs, but I have friends that do. I will be sharing this post with them. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Well I am not proud of this, but I had a really bad drug problem in the late sixties early seventies. A lot of teenagers back then had drug problems. It was quite the epidemic. I was honest with my children about my past. So I definitely knew what to look for. You are so right! Having an open honest relationship with your children is very important! It’s also important to let them know that they can come and talk to you at anytime about anything!!

  8. I'm just glad my daughter is past that age. Thanks for posting!

  9. Luckily my son is like me. Straight edge.