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A resource to start the conversation
about drug use and abuse.

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Tips for parents

.::: Learn more

Make sure you know the facts. Learn about the risks and effects of drug and alcohol use. If you don't know the answer to a question your teen asks, it's okay - ask someone or search for the answer together.

.::: Talk to your teen

It can be hard to talk to your teen about alcohol and other drugs, but don't avoid it. Even if your child is in his/her late teens, it's never too late to start the discussion. If you think your teen is having a problem with alcohol or other drugs, find a time that's right for everyone and talk about it as a family. Express your concerns and let your teen know that you care about their health and well-being.

.::: Listen to your teen

You and your teen may have different views on alcohol and other drugs. Try listening to your teen's beliefs and give him/her an opportunity to tell you how he/she is feeling.

.::: Remember that you are not alone

There are many support services and treatment agencies in your community that can give you more information and help you deal with teen drug use. Check out the More Information section of our website for help.

.::: Talk about rules

Make sure you talk to your teen about the expectations you have on the use of alcohol or other drugs, drinking and driving, and other risky behaviours. Provide opportunities for your teen to ask questions about the rules and remember to review them every now and then. Consistency and reinforcement will make your message clear.

.::: Be a good role model

Whether they admit it or not, your children look to you for clues on how to behave. So lead by example. When you use alcohol or prescription drugs, make sure you use them responsibly.

.::: Be patient

Things will not change overnight. If there's a drug or alcohol issue in your family, take small steps and work together as a family to resolve the problem.

The information presented in this section was adapted from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Take Action! Alcohol, Drugs and Your Family pamphlet.

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Revised: February 28, 2012

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