Good topics of discussion about substance abuse include cigarette smoking and how it's bad for health, how certain drugs are illegal, drinking and driving and strategies for turning down drugs when offered, notes the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and KidsHealth. It is a good idea to start early, short conversations about drugs when the opportunity is present.
Good topics for talking about drug abuse with kids usually depend on the child's age. Before the age of 7, parents can talk about drugs in general, such as medicines doctors give people to help them and addictive items like cigarettes. As they get older, parents can talk about different types of drugs and why some are illegal.
Parents can emphasize that certain drugs are illegal and can bring legal consequences when used. They can also talk about the health consequences of using illegal drugs and the dangers of overdosing, notes the NCPC.
When children are old enough to drive and are interested in borrowing the car, parents need to talk with them about drunk driving. Consider asking the teen to agree to a verbal contract not to drink and drive. Lay out ground rules for using the vehicle, too.
Parents may want to role play with their kids at different ages situations in which they may be pressured into using or offered drugs. This helps to prepare kids to deal with unexpected situations and peer pressure.