Did you Know?

How to talk with young people about alcohol and drugs

Now that you have the key facts about each drug, complete these boxes to prepare for a conversation with your young person. Save or Print this page before leaving to refer to your responses later, as your responses aren’t saved and closing this page will lose them.


An opportunity to start a conversation may emerge naturally. For example, if drug use is shown on TV, ask your child or young person what they think about it. This technique works well for children, as it helps them understand what they see around them without providing too much information for their age.

You might need to initiate a conversation. Try to do this in an uninterrupted time when you can give your full attention to what your young person is saying.

Write when you plan to have this conversation here:

The main message

People usually leave a conversation remembering one or two main messages. Write what you would like yours to be here. Give clear and encouraging messages and let them know that you care.

Hint: A common message is, "I care about you, and want to help you make choices that will help your future"

Other points that reinforce the main message

These are other points that you can be ready to raise in conversation. Choosing these points to reinforce your main message helps your young person to leave the conversation understanding your main message. This avoids the conversation being side-tracked by other issues and your main message getting lost.

Using the Did You Know? videos

  • Watch them together.
  • Ask open ended questions like:
    • "What do you think about these substances?"
    • "What stood out to you?"
    • "What was in these videos that you would want your friends to know?"
  • Listen to what they have to say
  • Offer any support they need.

Remember, starting a conversation is the most important thing, and it can be revisited in the future. You can call the alcohol and drug helpline on 0800 787 797 for information on how to get extra support.