Every young person will make a decision about whether or not to use alcohol and other drugs.
Many will try alcohol and other drugs
Some will experience short-term harms
A few will develop long-term problems
Having an early, rational conversation gives your young person confidence that if something comes up, they can speak to you. Having the conversation is more important than the outcome.
Tips for conversations
- Listen to what they have to say
- Avoid interrupting or having a strong reaction
- Let them know you care about them
- Set clear expectations, with realistic consequences if these expectations are broken. This is especially important for younger children, who are just beginning to develop more control over what they do.
If you are a parent or caregiver, have fun with your young person without drugs and alcohol. This makes it easier for them to learn to relax, reward themselves, or address feelings in ways that don’t involve drugs and alcohol.