Talking to teenagers about drugs and alcohol – ‘The Other Talk’

The Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) has launched a new website to help parents have ‘The Other Talk’ with their children about alcohol and other drugs.

The website, www.theothertalk.org.au, provides tips on how to talk to teenagers about drugs and alcohol and information to help arm parents with facts.

“Drugs are often still a taboo subject within families. We want to make it easier for parents to feel comfortable enough to initiate the conversation about alcohol and drugs, and feeling informed is a big part of that,” said John Rogerson, CEO of ADF.

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Research shows:

  • 40% of 12-17 year olds in Australia drink alcohol
  • one in five 16 and 17 year olds drink risky amounts of alcohol at least once a month
  • 36% of 12-17 year olds drink to get drunk every time they consume alcohol.*

The ADF says parents are the greatest influence on their teenagers: they can deter adolescent drinking and play a vital role in drug prevention.

“The facts have changed, we know more about the effects of alcohol and other drugs and they are more harmful than previously thought. Young people’s brains are still developing and drinking early can cause irreparable damage,” says John Rogerson.

But the website warns parents to not exaggerate the negative effects of drugs and alcohol, or you risk losing credibility with your teenagers.

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Topics covered on the website include:

  • What are synthetic drugs?
  • Does cannabis cause mental health problems?
  • Should parents introduce young people to alcohol?
  • What do ice and speed look like?

You can also download a Safe Partying Guide, and get across all the different state laws about underage drinking.

 

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