Talking to Your Teen about Alcohol, Cannabis & Other Drugs
As parents, talking with teens about alcohol, cannabis and other drugs can be difficult, but it’s the best way to help them make good decisions. The more informed you are, the more helpful you can be to your teens.
Be Engaged and Communicate
Start early and keep it ongoing. Recognize teachable moments and be prepared to talk to your teen about alcohol and cannabis. Be open to discuss their thoughts and what they know about alcohol and cannabis. Look for opportunities to share factual information.
Set Clear Expectations
Be sure to share your expectations and rules on alcohol and cannabis use with your teen.
If you are co-parenting, share your views with your partner and agree on rules and expectations together.
Be in the Know (Parental Monitoring)
Know where your teens are, what they are doing and whom they are with. If teens are going to use drugs, they will do so when adults are most likely not around.
You are a Role Model
You have more influence on your teens than you think. Teens are watching you and can be influenced by your opinions or your own use of substances. Explore your own views about alcohol, cannabis and other drugs use.
If you have alcohol or cannabis products at home, store them away in a locked cabinet, safely from children and teens.
Talk to your teens about the importance of not driving or getting into a vehicle with a driver who has consumed alcohol or cannabis. Youth under the age of 21 cannot have any alcohol or cannabis in their system when they drive, as they can be charged. Encourage them to plan ahead and talk to them about other alternatives to get home safely such as public transit, a taxi, or call a responsible adult for a safe drive home.
If you or your teen need information, support or counselling resources on alcohol, cannabis and other drugs:
- Talk to a health care professional
- Call Connex Ontario 1-866-531-2600 For free, 24/7 information on addiction and mental health