Why it’s Important to Talk to Your Child About Alcohol and Other Drugs

How to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol

As parents, we all want what’s best for our children. We want them to make informed choices and avoid risky behaviors. One crucial topic that often gets overlooked is talking to our children about alcohol and other drugs. Research has shown that having open and honest conversations about substance use can have a significant impact on our children’s decisions.

Parents Have a Significant Influence

During adolescence, maintaining a strong and supportive relationship with our children is vital. When we create a nurturing environment, our children are more likely to make better decisions. Contrary to what we may think, children do listen to their parents’ concerns. Thus, it is crucial to discuss the risks associated with alcohol and other drugs.

Early Prevention is Key

It’s better to talk to our children about these topics before they are exposed to alcohol and drugs. By having direct and honest conversations with them, we can establish trust and respect. Research has shown that children who have these conversations with their parents are more likely to adhere to their rules and advice about substance use.

The Sooner, the Better

Children as young as nine years old start viewing alcohol in a more positive light. Shockingly, around 3,300 kids as young as 12 try marijuana each day. Additionally, five in 10 children as young as 12 obtain prescription pain relievers for nonmedical purposes. It is never too early to start talking to our children about alcohol and other drugs. The earlier we start, the better equipped our children will be to make informed choices.

The Risks Increase with Age

As children grow older, the likelihood of them trying alcohol and other drugs increases. About 10 percent of 12-year-olds admit to having tried alcohol, but by the age of 15, that number jumps to 50 percent. By the time they are seniors in high school, almost 70 percent will have tried alcohol, half will have experimented with illegal drugs, and more than 20 percent will have used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. Starting these conversations early gives us a greater chance of influencing our children’s decisions regarding substance use.

Silence Speaks Volumes

By not talking to our children about alcohol and other drugs, we are sending them a message. Kids often lack accurate information, and if we don’t discuss the risks, they may not see any harm in trying these substances. Engaging in conversations with our children allows us to set clear rules and expectations regarding alcohol and drug use.


Q: When should I start talking to my child about alcohol and drugs?
A: It is never too early to start these conversations. Even children as young as nine years old are forming opinions about alcohol. The sooner we begin discussing the risks and setting expectations, the better.

Q: How do I approach these conversations with my child?
A: Approach the conversation with empathy, providing factual information, and actively listening to your child’s concerns. It’s important to create an environment of trust and open communication.

Q: What if I don’t have all the answers?
A: It’s okay not to have all the answers. If you encounter a question you don’t know how to answer, be honest with your child and offer to find the information together. This can be an opportunity to learn together.


Having open and honest conversations with our children about alcohol and other drugs is crucial. By starting these dialogues early, we can help our children make informed decisions and understand the risks associated with substance use. Remember, as parents, we have a significant influence on our children’s choices. Let’s use that influence to guide them towards a healthy and safe future.

[Instant Global News]