The three most commonly used drugs by Ontario teens are alcohol, marijuana and prescription opioids.
Did you Know
- One in five teens in Ontario has taken prescription drugs to get high and 75% of them say they stole the drugs from home.
- Twenty-five percent of 12 to 19 year olds in Ontario report binge-drinking (consuming five or more drinks) on at least one occasion in the past year
Talk to your Kids about Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Discuss their attitudes and experiences in a calm, supportive manner
- Don’t lecture
- Take advantage of teachable moments such as when you’re in the car or watching a movie together
- Learn about the risks of alcohol and drugs and talk to your child about the consequences
- Find more tips on how to talk to your kids about alcohol and other drugs here: Strategies for Parents to Prevent or Delay Alcohol and Other Drug Use
You are a Role Model
You are one of the important influences in your child’s life. Kids and teens learn from observing adult role models. By being a positive role model, you have the power to influence, inform, and inspire youths’ behaviours and decisions about alcohol and other drugs.
- Demonstrate that you can have fun without alcohol or drugs by choosing to say ‘no’ when it is offered to you, especially around young people.
- Avoid telling stories where alcohol and drugs are portrayed as “fun” or “glamorous”.
- If you choose to drink, follow the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, and discuss the importance of safe drinking and moderation.
- Model healthy stress management strategies. Instead of making statements like “what a day! I need a drink!”, invite your child (or children) to join you in going for a walk.
- Rethink Your Drinking and consider cutting down how much you drink. Talk to your kids about the risks associated with alcohol consumption and drug use.
Signs your Child may be Using Alcohol or Drugs
- Changes in their friends
- Changes in their grades or attendance at school; loss of interest in extracurricular activities
- Changes in their behaviour, attitude and appearance
- Finding drug-related items
What you Can Do
- Have a conversation and explain your concerns
- Remain neutral and listen to what your child has to say
- Set limits and consequences
- Monitor your child – where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing
- Get help if needed
- Help them problem solve and resist pressure
- Explain the legal, health and social consequences of using alcohol and drugs
- Engage them in meaningful activities
- Spend time together as a family
- Model safe and appropriate use of alcohol and medications. Remember – you are the number one influence in your child’s life.
- Don’t provide alcohol to your teen (or anyone under the age of 19) – this increases the risk of alcohol use problems
- Clean out your medicine cabinet once per year and return leftover or old medications to the pharmacy for safe disposal