It’s hard to get away from the subject of drugs these days. In the press, on TV, in the movies – it’s all around us. It’s pretty prevalent in your teen’s world, too. Talking to your children about drug us is not always easy, but it is crucial.

Drug abuse prevention starts with parents learning how to talk with their children about difficult topics and parents must remember that they are the strongest influence that children have. There is no guarantee that your child won't use drugs, but drug use is much less likely to happen if you:

  • Provide guidance and clear rules about not using drugs.
  • Spend time with your child.
  • Do not use drugs yourself.

Signs of Drug Use

  • Skipping classes or not doing well in school.
  • Unusual odors on their clothes or in their room.
  • Hostility or lack of cooperation.
  • Physical changes (red eyes, runny nose).
  • Borrowing money often, or suddenly having extra cash.
  • Lack of interest in activities.
  • Significant mood changes.
  • Loss of interest in personal appearance.
  • Change in friends.
  • Heightened secrecy about actions or possessions.

Helpful Resources

Parent Toolkit

Parent Toolkit's (from DrugFree.org) will help you start the conversation about drugs with your child.

24/7 NYS Drug Abuse Helpline - (877) 846-7369

NYS Drug Abuse Hotline - (800) 522-5353

Parents Toll-Free Helpline - (855) 378-4373
Social workers give parents advice on what to say to their teen, how to evaluate whether they need professional treatment and where to find the appropriate substance abuse treatment program if one is needed.

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Drugs Commonly Abused by Teens

The most commonly abused drugs by teens are Marijuana, Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs. Click the photos below to learn more.

Other Drugs Abused by Teens

Click the photos below to learn more.

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