Mom shows her son something important on her iPad

Dealing With Drug Use

If you catch or find out your child is using drugs, you should have a plan in place. Below are a couple things to keep in mind when you talk to your child about what you discovered.

Control your thoughts and actions. Assess and decide if you are too upset to continue. Leave the situation if you are feeling too upset or angry. Make a plan to deal with the situation within 24 hours.

Open the Conversation
Tell the youth’s other parents or caregivers and agree on how you would like to address the situation.

Be Patient
Expect denial and anger, but remind your youth you are coming from a place of love.

Provide Evidence
Tell them what you know, and share any proof you have. If they deny using, use the time to talk to them about drug use anyway.

Set Goals
A goal can be as simple as expressing to them that you don’t want them using drugs.

The Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Expansion Program (ASTEP) is a great resource to come up with goals or treatment plans!

Start with Rules
Set the rules around drugs and be prepared for every adult in the family to enforce them.

Talk about Addiction
If addiction runs in your family, tell or remind your youth that they are at a greater risk of developing an addiction. Never deny addiction in your family—use it as a way to talk to your youth regularly about the risks of drug addiction.

Take a Chill Pill
You may have to walk away and come back to the conversation if you or your youth gets too angry.

Always Love and Support
Let them know that you are there for support and that you can help direct them to treatment if they need help.

Alert IconMost 6-year-olds know that alcohol is only for adults. Between ages 9 and 13, youth begin to think that alcohol use is okay.