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Father and teen sonA basic reality is that children will have to make their way in a world that is filled with opportunities to use drugs, but parents can prepare their children to make positive choices.

Learn
Parents, get educated about the risks now. If we have a working knowledge of common drugs, know their effects on the mind and body, and the symptoms of their use we can discuss these subjects intelligently with our children.

Communicate
Parents need to know that the most important thing to remember when it comes to talking about difficult subjects like drinking and drugs is that it's not a five-minute "talk."

Communication with your teen:

  • Make a plan
  • Present the facts
  • Listen
  • Discuss
  • Set rules
  • Set clear consequences - reward good behavior
  • Road blocks
  • Continue the conversation

Take Action
It is a critical time for your family once you suspect – or know – that your son or daughter is using drugs or alcohol.

Know that many other families have had to work through these difficult times just like you. The most important thing is for you to take action on your child’s behalf the first time that you suspect drug or alcohol use.

Monitoring skills for parents: 

  • Ask questions - who, what, when and where. Have your kids check in with you regularly.
  • Be prepared and know the facts. Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to teen drug use. 
  • Make your position clear. Don't assume your teenager knows where you stand. Tell your children that you forbid them to use alcohol, tobacco and drugs because you love them.
  • Make the rules of the house clear to your teenager.
  • Monitor Internet use.
  • Be a good role model.

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