Ask an Expert – What can my teen say when she is offered drugs or alcohol?

My 15-year-old daughter has started socialising with teens who are drinking and smoking weed. She admits to sipping on beer at parties and says she’s feeling the pressure to smoke just to fit in. I want to know what she can say when offered drugs and alcohol. She says when she says no, she feels very.. Read more

Ask an Expert – Are teens addicted to gaming more likely to become addicted to alcohol or drugs?

Are teenagers who become addicted to gaming more likely to become addicted to alcohol or drugs? This is a difficult question to answer as research on the impacts of gaming is in its infancy and few conclusions about how ‘addictive’ gaming actually is have been drawn. The range of different games available for people to.. Read more

Ask an Expert – How can I keep my daughter safe at schoolies week?

My daughter is going to Schoolies Week. I’m really worried about excess drinking, drugs and unsafe sex. How can I help her keep safe and how do I even talk to her about all of this !!!! If your daughter is going to schoolies week look at it as an opportunity – most probably the.. Read more

What to ask parents who are hosting a party

Navigating the world of teenagers and parties is one of the more difficult tasks parents face. You may have different expectations and family rules to other parents, and what your teenager wants to do may be quite different to what you are comfortable with. Drug and alcohol educator Paul Dillon says all parents will face.. Read more

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.. Read more

Pot-smoking teenagers risk IQ loss

Delay delay delay. That’s the general catchcry of health specialists when commenting on teenagers’ engaging in risky behaviour involving alcohol, drugs and sex. And now there is even further evidence why smoking marijuana during adolescence is a bad idea. A new long-range study of 1,000 New Zealanders found that participants who started using cannabis in.. Read more

Helping your kids handle social pressure

A friend emailed me the other day with a ‘proud mummy moment’ – yes, we still have them, even with teenagers. Her 15-year-old daughter had been invited to a birthday dinner for a classmate at a swanky restaurant, followed by a sleepover at the birthday girl’s house. Our daughters are at the age where drinking.. Read more

Teen drug users ‘wired that way’

Why do some teenagers start smoking or experimenting with drugs — when others don’t? It seems to be the way their brain is wired. In the largest imaging study of the human brain ever conducted—involving 1,896 14-year-olds—scientists have discovered a number of previously unknown networks that go a long way toward an answer. “Some teenagers.. Read more

It takes a village to keep teens substance free

We know that friends can have a big influence over our teenagers. Now it’s been discovered that peer influence is so powerful, even friends’ parents can influence our own child’s alcohol or drug use. The parenting qualities that count, according to researchers, is consistency in discipline and awareness of teenagers’ whereabouts. “Among friendship groups with.. Read more

Speed and ecstasy associated with depression in teenagers

Teenagers who used speed or ecstasy at 15 or 16 were significantly more likely to suffer elevated depressive symptoms the following year. This was the finding of a five-year study conducted with thousands of teenagers by University of Montreal researchers. “Our results reveal that recreational MDMA and meth/amphetamine use places typically developing secondary school students.. Read more