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Drugs and alcohol – children and young people

Tips for parents/carers on how to talk to your child about drugs and alcohol:

Don’t Panic!
If you find out your child is taking drugs or using alcohol, you might feel angry and upset. However, remain calm and wait for a good time when the anger has past to talk to them.

Do your homework
Do your research on drugs and alcohol before talking to your child. This will give you more confidence to talk to your child in an informed way.

Pick the right time
Choose the right time to talk to your child, don’t bring it up before they are leaving for school or if they come home drunk or ‘high’. Mealtimes or whilst driving in the car could be a good time or if anything about drugs or alcohol come up on the news or on a tv programme.

Be honest
Be prepared to talk openly about your own views on alcohol and how much you drink and why you drink. Your child is bound to want to talk about your use.

Don’t forget to listen
Try asking your child what they understand about alcohol and drugs rather than telling them what you know. Get a conversation going. If there are questions you don’t know the answers to look them up with your child together. Make sure your child knows you are there for them to talk to and support them and show them love.

Keep talking
Your child has to cope with many issues as they grow up, including peer pressure. Try to get into the habit of talking with your child about them.