January 2015

If you found out your child’s best friend is smoking marijuana what would you do?

Put yourself in the other parents’ shoes. If someone knew your child was experimenting with drugs and didn’t tell you, would you be upset? Of course you would. Parents are the first line of defense against drugs, but in order for parents to intervene, they must be aware. Even if it is uncomfortable, it is important to share this information with the other parents as soon as possible.

What does your child have to say? Just because your teen’s friend is using, doesn’t necessarily mean your teen is using. Ask anyway. Youth who spend time with friends who drink alcohol or use other drugs, are automatically at an increased risk of using themselves. Some of the biggest reasons include pressure to join in and a reduced sense of harm.

What you can do?

  • Know your child’s friends and their parents

  • Monitor (and limit, if necessary) your child’s time spent with certain friends

  • Do not allow an over-night with a child you suspect smokes, drinks or uses other drugs

  • Be present when your child has friends in your home

  • Be specific about your expectations and family rules about not using and consequences for poor choices

  • Randomly text your child to check in when he/she is at a friend’s house

  • Let other parents know that you would want to hear from them if they had concerns about your child

For additional information and to obtain the Know! Parent Workbook, go to www.drugfreeactionalliance.org.