How to talk to your son or daughter when you suspect prescription drug abuse
WARNING: The videos are for parents and other adult use only.
"You don't have to say I want you to go into treatment; you just have to say we want you to go to the hospital and let the doctors evaluate you to see if there is a problem."
-Dr. John Knight, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Research at Children's Hospital Boston.
Before approaching your child, talk to a professional for advice. Before your sit down with your child, think about the goal of keeping your him/her safe. If you have a partner, discuss what you will do together beforehand so that you are on the same page. It's important to be united, so you can make it clear that you are, as a family, going to treatment regardless of what your child may say. Highlight your concern and the specific signs and symptoms you have observed.
When speaking with your child, remain non-judgmental. Do not criticize your child or compare him or her to someone else.
- Let your adolescent/young adult know how much you love them
- Empathize; listen to them describe their feelings, pressures, and perceptions
- Gently ask follow-up questions and summarize
- Guide your child to an understanding of the consequences of drug abuse
- Make it clear that you and the family will seek professional help
- Use loaded or critical language
- Compare your child to others - either in a positive or negative way
- Interrupt your child when he or she is genuinely trying to describe current pain, difficulties, or a situation in his or her life
This information is provided by the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services within the Department of Public Health.