Drugs and Alcohol

From casual use of marijuana to the heroin and opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse, parents have a lot to worry about. Substance abuse can alter your child’s personality and brain chemistry and can derail their future. You might be wondering: How do I know if my child is using drugs? How do I talk to my teen about heroin? How can I help my child overcome prescription drug abuse?

These videos offer parental support and information on topics such as how to recognize the signs of substance abuse, how to handle heroin or opioid use, how to keep your child from abusing prescription drugs, what to say to your child who thinks marijuana is “no big deal”, and other ways in which you can help your child grow up with a healthy attitude toward drugs and alcohol.

How Do I Encourage My Daughter to Return to Her Old Circle of Friends?

Carla Ordonez, Ed.S., LMFT
School Psychologist

Unknown to my daughter I know she is trying to hang out with new kids who do drugs and alcohol and I am trying very hard to keep her away from them but its wearing me out because she fights with me and lies to me that she her friends don’t do that neither will she but what she is saying on her nook conversations is that she would like to try them and has drank at the very few parties she has snuck out to. What can I do to help her go back to her old circle of good friends and get rid of the bad ones?

There are several levels of concern embedded in this question: secrecy, new friends, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Concerns about her changing habits are valid and both of you need to discuss it to understand each other’s perspective. Secrecy can only damage the trust and respect between you and your daughter. Changing friends happens overtime, but it is one of those red flags in the prevention of drug use. You can facilitate a safe environment at home for her and her friends while getting to know them yourself. Additionally, make an effort on meeting her friends’ parents. You probably cannot make her change her friends but you can help her be aware of herself and her values when establishing friendships in life. Finally, you have a very valid concern about your daughter’s interest in experimenting with alcohol and drugs. Most adolescents choose to stay alcohol and drug free. However, some kids still experiment. Talk to your daughter about family expectations and consequences of drugs and alcohol use. In these situations, communication, boundaries and rules based on your concerns and love are important. However, if you feel like the conversations become emotional, defensive, or make her shut down, a therapist can provide a neutral space for effective communications between you and your daughter.