Talk to Your Kids About Drugs

Children whose parents speak with them about the dangers of drugs are 42 percent less likely to try drugs than children whose parents don’t talk to them, the National Family Partnership, sponsors of Red Ribbon Week said.

But, according the organization, only about a quarter of teens say their parents have talked with them. Keep reading for tips to help get the conversation started.

Get Started

If your child’s school participates in Red Ribbon Week or other drug prevention programs, use those as a starting point for talking to them about drugs. Make sure to highlight the consequences of drug and alcohol use, both in your house in with the legal system.

Talk to Your Child’s Friends

It might be awkward, but also get your child’s friends involved in the conversation. Know who they’re hanging out with and when, where those children and their families live, and connect with them on social media.

Talk to Other Parents

And, while we’re doing all this talking, get to know the parents of your children’s friends. Work with them to set boundaries and discuss appropriate behaviors. Also talk to other parents in your neighborhood and, if you can, consider starting a neighborhood watch to keep an eye out for signs of drug use or other activity.

Stay Calm

Remember during these conversations to keep a cool head. Limit distractions before you get started and be completely focused on talking to your children, parents or others. And, as always, remember to listen to what others are telling you, even if it’s difficult to hear.

Show and Tell

If you drink in the home or while you’re out with friends, demonstrate good choices. Use a designated driver and don’t drink to excess. Also be aware of how you use prescription drugs in the home, even over-the-counter ones. Be aware of you’re using them inappropriately. Avoid any TV programs or other media that glorifies drugs and alcohol.

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