For Parents

For Parents

Top 10 Tips

Here are 10 things you can do to help your child to make good choices about alcohol and drugs:

  1. Be supportive when you talk with your children about drugs and alcohol – This will encourage them to raise any questions or concerns they may have. Don’t lecture or threaten your child about alcohol and drugs.

  2. Don’t exaggerate the dangers of drugs and alcohol use – There are enough real facts about the risks of using drugs and alcohol. If you make false claims about the risks everything you say about alcohol and drugs may be rejected by your young person.

  3. Educate yourself about drug and alcohol use – Your child may want to know something specific about drugs and alcohol. It's important to be able to give them this information or at least know where you can find answers.

  4. Use everyday “news” to educate children about drug and alcohol use – For example, if a well-known athlete is caught using performance-enhancing drugs, talk about why they may have been tempted to use them and how drug use can affect a person’s health and career.

  5. Talk about the dangers of medications your child can legally buy and use – Pain killers and cold medicines can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs.

  6. Be a role model to your children – Be a good example to children and young people by living the kind of healthy behaviours you would like them to adopt. Never drink and drive. Don’t use alcohol to deal with your life problems.

  7. Set clear rules for children and young people – Rules may include:

    • Not bringing drugs/alcohol into the house

    • Not inviting friends who use drugs over to the house

    • Not allowing drugs/alcohol to be brought to events you are hosting. You can be held legally liable for injuries or damage that occur as a result of underage drug/alcohol use

  8. Be aware of what's going on in your child's life – If you notice a change, try asking if they are having any problems or why they seem to be acting differently. If you suspect drug or alcohol use is involved, talk about this without condemning.

  9. Keep alcohol and risky medications away from your children and their friends –This will reduce the potential for spur of the moment drug or alcohol use.

  10. If your child is regularly using drugs or alcohol and can’t stop by themselves, they will need help – Talk to your doctor or heath care professional to get started on finding ways to help your child.