Be frank about drug risks
It can be difficult to talk about drugs with your kids but a few key pointers can make it a whole lot easier. Use these tips to help you talk openly about drugs with your child.
Drugs help and information
Call the FRANK helpline on 0800 776600 for more information about drugs and the different options available for help and support. The confidential helpline is open every day, 24 hours a day.
1. Do your homework
Make sure you understand enough about drugs, including why your child might experiment with them, so you can talk to your child in an informed way. Understanding the facts about drugs will also help you keep calm in a crisis.
Get your information from reliable, credible sources such as the drugs website FRANK.
2. Pick a good time
Don’t do it before they rush off to school. Or, if they are using drugs, don’t confront them when they’re high on drugs.
3. Take the opportunities to talk when they arise
It may help to do it when the subject comes up during TV programmes or in the news. Mealtimes can also be a good forum for discussion.
4. Let them know your values and boundaries
It’s important for your children to know where you stand on drug taking. Be clear about your opinions on drugs so that they know your boundaries.
5. It’s never too early to talk about drugs
It’s a good idea to start talking about the issue before they start experimenting with drugs. Make them feel strong and independent enough to be able to say no.
6. Avoid scare tactics
Your teenage children often know more people who take drugs than you do, so there’s no point in saying, “Smoking cannabis will kill you”. But if you point out that cannabis can cause mental health problems and make people forgetful and unmotivated, that will seem realistic to them and be more of a deterrent.
7. Know their friends
Peer pressure is the single most powerful factor in determining whether or not your child will take drugs. Get to know their friends. Invite them to the house and take an interest in what’s going on in their lives. If you have good reason to think your child’s friends are involved in drugs, you may need to support your child to find a new circle of friends.