Have a Conversation With the Whole Family

Younger siblings look up to their older brothers or sisters – be sure to include them in family conversations about substance use.

Four million teens say they have an older sibling who uses marijuana.  

Just over one million teens say they have a younger sibling who uses marijuana.

Source - US Partnership Attitude Tracking Study 2002

Remember younger brothers and sisters tend to follow in their siblings’ footsteps, so it’s critical to include the entire family in your discussion when you set clear rules about staying drug, and alcohol free. When you discuss your rules about substance use, be sure to base your drug information on facts, not fears. You can download the DFK Drug Chart, or make use of the Cannabis Talk Kit 

As a parent of a child who is using drugs, you may need to enlist the support of your extended family and close family friends. You may also need to discuss the problem with siblings particularly if the siblings are close in age.

Key Talking Points:

  • Drug and alcohol use by the children and teens are not allowed in this family.
  • There are consequences for breaking the rules about substance use in this family. Are you clear about them?
  • If you know that your brother or sister is using alcohol or drugs, we expect you to tell us.  This is not “snitching;” rather, it is loving your sibling by not enabling him/her.
  • We are here to support and protect ALL our children from danger. That’s what families do for each other.