Back to School: Talking to Your Children About Drugs

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated September 5, 2014

It’s just about that time again to put your children back on the bus and send them off to school. For you as a parent, this might be a welcomed time of the year, as you are given back some of your freedom and flexibility. For your children, however, their year is just ramping up, and there are many things that might come their way that they need to be prepared to handle – including drug abuse.

As parents, we never like to think that our children are exposed to drugs while at school, but this has quickly become a very consistent reality amongst students nationwide. There is no telling how young our children are when they are first being introduced to drugs, which is why it is critical that we do everything in our power to help them build a toolbox of skills that keep them away from drug use permanently.

How Can I Talk to My Children About Drugs?

 The topic of drugs can be a touchy one, and most of all, it can be uncomfortable to bring up – especially if your children are young. However, it is critical that you overcome this discomfort to provide your children with the best future possible. Some of the ways that you can talk about drugs with your children include the following:

  • Develop open communication with one another. As with anything else, let your children know that they can come to you with questions, comments, concerns, etc. when it comes to drug abuse. Always approach this topic in a calm and sensible manner as to keep your children feeling comfortable coming to you.
  • Educate them! Your children’s minds are like sponges and they will retain what you tell them (even if you think it goes in one ear and out the other)! Sit them down and talk to them about different kinds of drugs, what they can do to the body and mind, and how they can impact people outside of themselves.
  • Help them navigate through peer pressure. Being egged on by others at school is often one of the many ways in which children and teens are prompted to use in the first place. By giving your children some easy ways to say “no” and/or avoid those types of situations, you are preparing them to be successful in not using drugs.

It is never too early to talk to your children about the many dangers of drug abuse. With the current drug epidemic running rampant throughout the country, it can not only benefit your children to bring up this subject, but also you as a parent and the rest of your family.

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Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.