Addiction is something that affects entire families. Because of this, it is important to speak to kids, whether or not addiction is prevalent in your family. But, if there is addiction in your family it is even more important to make sure your children, of any age, understand what is going on.

If you are a parent that is addicted to drugs or alcohol it is important that your family is involved in your recovery. By attending counseling together you can rebuild your relationship that has been affected by addiction, and it will also help your children be less likely to follow in your path.

Be Honest, About Certain Things

It can be helpful to grasp teachable moments anytime that you can, such as something on the news about drug use or something in a TV show. If you have addiction in your family that your child has already witnessed, this too is a teachable moment.

Be honest with your child or teen about the effects of drugs. Don’t simply tell them they are bad and not to do them, give them details of how meth causes sores and tooth loss, and how easy it can be to overdose on any drug.

However, don’t tell them about your own experimentation. This will just make them think it’s alright to try drugs themselves, after all, you survived!

Don’t Talk Down To Them

Obviously your child is at an age they can understand what you are talking about, and ask questions. That means you need to talk to them like an adult, don’t talk down to them. You do want to speak to them in a language they can understand though, especially for younger children.

Don’t laugh at their questions, no matter how silly they may seem to you. This is a serious subject. And, if you don’t have an answer for a question they have, take some time to get online and look it up with them, and you’ll both learn something new.

Give Them Statistics

Show them photos of people who have overdosed (this is age appropriate, of course) and show them before and after photos of addicts to show them even the more minor things that drugs can do to you. You should also give teens and pre-teens statistics on drug use and abuse.

Your teen may be surprised that more teens die from misuse of prescription drugs than heroin and cocaine together. They may be shocked that more teens are smoking marijuana than cigarettes. Statistics are a great way to get your point across.

Consider taking your child to a drug treatment facility for a tour, especially if they don’t seem to really be taking in what you are saying, or if you suspect they may already be using.