Talk with your kids about Drugs
Today is the best day to start a habit of just talking with your kids. Experts agree that simply getting into the habit of talking with your children about daily life is a great way to lay the foundation for important conversations, including drug use.
Kids are curious people. They want to know about the world around them, and at some point, they will want to learn about drugs—prescription and others. Your teenagers crave a real, conversation WITH you, to explore ideas and gain understanding. If you don’t have an answer, it’s a great opportunity to research it together. We have curated a collection of resources to help you with accurate, factual drug information, as well as some overall communication strategies.
National Institute on Drug Abuse offers parent resources, including drug facts, emerging trends, and more.
Women’s and Children’s Health Network collected age-appropriate information for talking with your school-aged kids about drugs.
KidsHealth from Nemours health system has separate drug information resources aimed at Parents and at Teens. All information on this site is doctor-reviewed.
Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
Drugs: What to Know for Teens
Prescription Drug Abuse for Teens
Partnership to End Addiction has some great tips and ideas for ways to talk and connect with your teenager.
Centerstone offers excellent communication tips for parents of teens.
Lead-ins to initiate a discussion with your teenager:
- “I care about you, and you’re a valued team member. I know you’ve been drinking on the weekends. This will cost you your spot on the team...”
- “Your health and well-being are very important to me. I know you’ve been using drugs. Let’s talk about this. I need you to be honest with me...”
- “Prescription drugs are dangerous and addictive. I know you’re abusing them. We need to have an honest conversation...”
Tips to Help Guide Your Teen Toward a Healthy, Drug-Free Life
- Make sure your teen knows your rules and the consequences for breaking them.
- Let your teen in on all the things you find wonderful about him.
- Show interest and discuss your teen’s daily ups and downs.
- Tell your teen about the negative effect alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs have on physical appearance.
- Don’t just leave your teen’s anti-drug education up to her school.
Drugs by Another Name
“Molly” may be a friend’s name, but it may not. “Special K” is a breakfast cereal, but why would your kids be chatting about it? Have they actually been riding lately? If not, “horse” may not be what you think. Names for illicit drugs are ever-changing, so if something seems strange in your child’s communication, check it out. Ask questions of your child and others; give it a Google; see if your suspicions are warranted. Communication is key in preventing alcohol and other drug abuse.
Adolescent Alcohol & Other Treatment Options
Outpatient treatment options teens and adolescents
Aalto Enhancement Center (262) 654-9370
InterConnections (262) 654-5333
Oakwood Clinical Associates (262) 652-9830
Professional Services Group (262) 652-2406
Psychiatric & Psychotherapy Clinic (262) 654-0487
If you have no insurance, contact the Resource Center at Kenosha Human Development Services at (262) 764-8555.
Residential treatment options for teens and adolescents
Support for Parents and other Loved Ones
Additional online resources for parents:
- It's OK to Ask Kids About Their Drug Use - KCSAC (PDF)
- Lock Your Meds
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
- Talk with your Kids about Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Tips for Talking and What to Say to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Abuse