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Mother and daughter

You probably have to remind your teenager a few times to do their homework or take out the trash.  The same goes for drugs and alcohol.  Remind your teen that alcohol and other drugs are unhealthy, even if you’ve already talked about it.  It might seem annoying, but regularly speaking with your teen will help them remember to make better choices.  In fact, many teenagers report that they don’t use alcohol or other drugs, because it would upset their parents.

Here are some tips on how to get your message across the next time around:

  • Choose the right time – Many parents feel that one on one time in the car is a great moment to get a teenager’s attention.  Try discussing goals in the car ride home from school and then transition into a discussion about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 
  • Draw from media – Television and radio often depict substance misuse in a lighthearted way. Use these portrayals as opportunities to start a dialogue about alcohol and other drugs.
  • Create a contract – After you have talked, write down what you and your teen agree are important goals or rules. Sign the document so you can both hold each other responsible for following through.

For more information on how to talk to your teen about alcohol and other drugs, visit

Written By:

intern with Bureau of Substance Abuse Services

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