What Parents Should Know About Drug Use

Parents—You Can Influence Your Children

Boost Their Self-Esteem

Teens who have high self-esteem are better equipped to make smart choices, deal with peer pressure, and avoid drug use. Boost your teen’s self-esteem by:
• Praising achievements
• Helping set realistic goals
• Giving choices
• Offering responsibilities
• Focusing on teen’s strengths without comparing to others
• Taking all of your teen’s concerns seriously

Talk To your kids about drug use

Starting the Conversation – (These tips are useful when talking about tobacco or alcohol, too.)
Say something to show you are open-minded, then ask your teen about his or her own experiences. Use thought-provoking questions that can be asked in a supportive, non-threatening way. For example:
• Do you know kids who use drugs?
• How has it affected them?
• Have you ever been offered pills or marijuana by someone you knew?
• If so, what did you say? If not, what would you say?
• What if someone really pushed you?
• What would you say if they said… Is there another side to this view?
• Do you see any risks?
• Do you have any concerns?

Be Involved

As a parent you can work with your local school system to help prevent drug use. Working together parents, teachers, administrators and coaches can be powerful influencers of teen behavior. This checklist can help as you talk with your school:
• My teen’s school will help/intervene if there is reason to believe a teen is using drugs.
• My teen’s school requires parents to be kept informed of school policies regarding drug use or possession.
• I will actively support school policies on drug user and possession and the enforcement of them.
• If you hear information from your teens about potential issues in school, share those issues with school authorities.