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Making time to come together and talk openly and honestly with your children and family about complex issues like substance use and overdose can help build positive connections and enhance resilience.
The resources below provide advice on how you can begin and continue having conversations about drug use with your kid, teenager, or even your adult children.
How to Talk to Kids
Talking openly with kids from an early age about all drugs-including those prescribed by doctors, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and illicit drugs-helps them to understand what they are. Providing them with a good example helps them learn how to use drugs appropriately. Through conversation and mentoring, you can guide them towards healthy decisions later in life.
This information can help prepare you for the journey.
How to Talk to Teens
Some teens will have been introduced to opioids as medication (e.g., T3s after dental surgery). Others may try using other people’s prescription opioids. And a very few may experiment with opioid street drugs like heroin or fentanyl. As a parent, you are the number one influence on your child's choices in life, even when it comes to drug use. Talking with them about your values, practices, and expectations can reduce the likelihood of harm.
Use this information to help guide conversations with your teen.
How to Talk to Adult Children
As your child becomes a young adult, you can still help them make healthy life decisions by maintaining good relationships and having conversations that encourage healthy behaviour. This includes conversations about their decisions around substance use, including alcohol, medications and other drugs.
Use this information to help guide those important conversations.
Your Health Authority
For information about how to talk to your children about substance use and overdose from your health authority, where available, click on the links below.
- First Nations Health Authority – Tips and Hints for Talking with Kids About Drugs and Alcohol
- Fraser Health – Getting help for your child's mental health
- Vancouver Coastal Health
To watch a video about the importance of talking to your children about substance use; or to hear stories from families, first responders, and those in recovery, click on the links below.
For more information about talking to your children about substance use and overdose, click on the links below.
Last Updated: June 2021