First step – breathe and stay calm. Your child needs you to be firm and focused.
If your child has begun to experiment with drugs and alcohol, it's time to start talking.
It’s important for parents to understand why their child might turn to substances in the first place - have a conversation about what your child might see as benefits to using alcohol, cannabis or other drugs.
Your child may feel that substances help him or her escape boredom, fit in better with their peers, get a thrill, escape from perceived problems or ease their anxiety in school. Finding healthy alternatives that address the reasons why he or she uses in the first place may help your teen reduce their drug use or choose to abstain completely.
If your child is continually using drugs or has developed a substance use disorder, he or she needs help. You as the parent are in the best position get the help your child needs.
Health care providers, doctors, police, counsellors, psychologists and/or psychiatrists are just a few of the resources you can turn to for support and guidance before getting treatment. It's important to get medical advice first in order to determine that treatment is required, then begin the search for treatment that best suits your child.