Drugs and alcohol can be a sensitive subject to talk about with another adult, and terrifying to bring up with kids. In part, this may be because there have been incidents of addiction or substance abuse among family members. Talking about alcohol and drugs with kids can provide them with correct information, helping them avoid abuse problems down the road. Read these tips to feel more comfortable bringing up the subject of alcohol and drugs in a constructive, non-threatening way.

Find a Comfortable Setting

The best location to bring up the topic of teens using drugs or alcohol is someplace where they feel relaxed. If you make a big deal about going somewhere you would not normally take them, kids are more likely to feel on edge. Instead, find a way to slip the topic it into the conversation when you are at home, and they are relaxed.

Use the Proper Tone of Voice

Using the same tone of voice you would use during a normal conversation allows kids to better transmit the information you present. While using louder or more forceful language may seem like it would make a bigger impression, it can cause kids to tune out what you are saying, turning to their peers for information rather than listening to you.

Introduce the Topic Naturally

You can easily transition into the topic of substance abuse when you are talking about something related (i.e., health and wellness), or you can use moments when a message about drugs and alcohol is shown in the media. Kids may also bring up the subject on their own because they have heard other people talk about it or seen their friends use it. Though you want to make sure the discussion is natural, your information should be factual as opposed to just expressing your opinion, so kids are more likely to believe what you are telling them.

Keep the Conversation Positive

Although there are many negatives associated with drugs and alcohol, if kids leave a conversation feeling like they have been reprimanded, they are less likely to think the information is credible. While it is necessary to talk about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol, including positive facts such as how many teens avoid using harmful substances, can encourage kids to stand with the majority.


When you are struggling with how to talk to kids about alcohol and drugs, the Anthony Louis Center has tools that can help. Because we focus on drug and alcohol help for teens, we know how important it is for kids to get the correct information about substance abuse at home, before they are forced to make their own decision about it. For quality resources, contact the Anthony Louis Center today.