Help Reduce the Chances Your Child Will Develop a Drug or Alcohol Problem
- Build a warm & supportive relationship with your child.
- Be a good role model when it comes to drinking, taking medicine & handling stress.
- Know your child's risk level.
- Know your child's friends.
- Monitor, supervise & set boundaries.
- Have ongoing conversations & provide information about drugs & alcohol.
The easiest way for teens to obtain prescription medicines is from their friends or their parents' medicine cabinet. It's so common that it could happen even in your house!
Signs Your Child May Be Using Alcohol or Drugs
- Problems at school- falling grades, skipping class, disciplinary issues.
- Sudden mood changes- temper flare-ups, irritability, defensiveness.
- Personality changes, lack of interest in hobbies/activities.
- Disrupted eating or sleeping habits.
- Memory lapses, poor concentration, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, lack of coordination.
- Unexplained disappearance of medicines in the household.
- Change in friends and/or hang-outs.
- Secretiveness and withdrawing from family.
- Missing things/money from the house; increased requests for cash.
Talking To Kids About Alcohol
5 Conversation Goals
1. Show you disapprove of underage drinking.
More than 80% of young people ages 10-18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink. So they really are listening, and it’s important that you send a clear and strong message.
2. Show you care about your child’s happiness and well-being.
Young people are more likely to listen when they know you’re on their side. Try to reinforce why you don’t want your child to drink—not just because you say so, but because you want your child to be happy and safe. The conversation will go a lot better if you’re working with, and not against, your child.
3. Show you’re a good source of information about alcohol.
You want your child to be making informed decisions about drinking, with reliable information about its dangers. You don’t want your child to be learning about alcohol from friends, the internet, or the media—you want to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.
4. Show you’re paying attention and you’ll notice if your child drinks.
You want to show you’re keeping an eye on your child, because young people are more likely to drink if they think no one will notice. There are many subtle ways to do this without prying.
5. Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding underage drinking.
Even if your child doesn’t want to drink, peer pressure is a powerful thing. It could be tempting to drink just to avoid looking uncool. To prepare your child to resist peer pressure, you’ll need to build skills and practice them.
Keep it low-key. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get everything across in one talk. Many small talks are better.from SAMHSA.gov
What to do if your child is drinking or using drugs
You can never be too safe or intervene too early - even if you believe your child is just "experimenting."The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has developed an Intervention eBook to address common questions.
The WS/FCS Safe & Drug-Free Schools office can help answer your questions and identify possible referrals. You can remain anonymous if you choose or we can involve school support staff. No parent needs to feel alone We are here to help.