12 Things
Parents Can Do


Just as we build protection against other medical conditions well before the symptoms are likely to appear, it is essential that we begin strengthening our kids’ protective factors against addiction prior to their teen years, and well in advance of situations where they may be offered drugs or alcohol.

This toolkit translates the science of prevention into simple strategies parents and caregivers can incorporate into their busy daily lives.


Key Takeaways


A key element in preventing the development of a substance use disorder is delaying the age of drug and alcohol use initiation, especially while the adolescent brain is still developing. It’s important to remind your kids that you expect them to abstain from using alcohol or drugs and communicate the consequences if they attempt to use.

The research is clear – talk early and often with your kids about the risks of using alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, prescription medications, and other substances, and you will protect them from developing an addiction later in life.

The below resources serve to guide parents through talking to their kids about substances – for both general substances and specifically opioids.