Tips for Talking to Teens About Substance Use and Dependency
Talking to an adolescent about substance use, abuse, and addiction is not an easy topic. How do you broach the subject without being met with resistance? What is the best way to gently break down the barriers to open communication about sensitive topics? Talking to a teen about drugs and substance abuse can be a challenge, but one that is worth taking on to prevent a life ruined by a substance use disorder.
The Partnership for Drug Free Kids has a good guide for talking to teens about drug use, providing these important tips:
- Choose a good time and place to talk. Do find a time where your teen isn’t distracted or tired.
- Keep an open mind. Use open-ended questions (not questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”). Use active listening and “I” statements.
- Understand the influence you have as a parent. Take advantage of teachable moments and know that your teen is listening and learning from you, even if they don’t seem like they are.
- Provide support and compassion. Be sympathetic to what your teen is feeling.
- Understand that your teen’s brain is not fully developed. Learn to identify risky behaviors and keep your emotions in check.
- Tips for talking to teens about drugs and alcohol- https://americanaddictioncenters.org/blog/5-tips-talking-teens-about-drugs-alcohol/
- Talking to your kids - https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-parents-need-to-know/talking-to-your-kids-communicating-risks
- Talking to your teen about substance use - https://childmind.org/article/talk-teenager-substance-use-abuse/
- Talking to your child about alcohol - https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/makeadiff_html/makediff.htm
- Talking to your teens - https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/substance-abuse/Pages/Talk-to-Your-Teen-About-Drugs-And-Keep-Talking.aspx
- 5 don’ts for talking to teens about drugs - https://www.projectknow.com/5-no-nos-when-talking-to-teens-about-drug-use/
- Parent link- https://www.parentlink.act.gov.au/parenting-resources/parenting-guides/young-people/young-people-and-drugs
- Video- Talking to teens about drugs - https://youtu.be/FThKH0SEDeI