FAQs

  • Does teaching my teen to drink help them learn to drink responsibly?

    • Allowing your teenager to drink alcohol with you may actually backfire as an approach to teaching responsible drinking, according to a study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. It was determined that the more a teenager drinks at home with his or her family, the more he or she drinks outside of the home.

    • There are many laws in place that impose severe punishments for adults who allow teens to drink in their home, even if the adult is not there. It is a crime to give alcohol to a minor.

    What should I do if I suspect that my teen is drinking or using drugs?

    Ask them. If you suspect that your son or daughter is lying, consult a professional for a drug test. Keeping an open line of communication is one of the best ways to help your teen stay away from drug or alcohol use.

    If I suspect that my teen is using, where should I look to confirm my suspicions? Places to look:

    • dresser drawers, socks, beneath or between clothes, in pockets of pants

    • desk drawers

    • cars: glove box, ashtrays, under seats

    • CD/DVD/Tape/Video cases

    • small boxes - jewelry, pencil, etc.

    • under a bed or mattress

    • between books on a bookshelf

    • in books with pages cut out

    • makeup cases - inside fake lipstick tubes or compacts

    • inside over-the-counter medicine containers

    • backpacks/duffle bags

    What are some ways I can help my child stay away from drugs and alcohol?

    • Set rules within the house: Make sure that your family knows that there is zero tolerance for use of drugs/alcohol. Be sure to set consequences for breaking this rule.

    • Keep tabs on your teen: Always know where they will be and what they will be doing when away from the house unsupervised. Be sure to occasionally check up on your teen and make sure that they are where they said they will be.

    • Know your teen's friends and their parents. Offer to have them over to your house for a movie night or make plans to attend an event together.

    • Encourage your teen to be involved in after-school activities: sports, clubs, fitness programs, etc. The more they are involved, the less time they have to experiment with drugs or alcohol.

    • Talk to your teen: Ask them how their day went, about their friends, what plans they have for the weekend, etc.

    • Plan family activities: Strengthen the bond that you have with your teen.

    • Make a habit of borrowing your child's car on short notice. If you do this, they will not have time to clean out the car or hide anything they shouldn't have in it.

    • If your child goes to a party, ask them to call you halfway into the night. Also, mention that you will call them. Teens are less likely to get drunk if they know they have to have a coherent conversation with you.