Drug and Alcohol News (JoinTogether.com)
Is the way or amount you drink harming your health? Should you cut down on your drinking?
In honor of Alcohol Awareness month, we wanted to share our free alcohol screener at AlcoholScreening.org.
Answering these questions will take only a few minutes, and will give you personalized results based on your age, gender and drinking patterns.
We will not share your answers or any information about you with anyone.
* Alcohol consumption guidelines
* How to cut down on your drinking
* What is an alcohol problem
* If someone close has a problem
* Understanding addiction
* Addiction and treatment
Want to talk to someone about your loved one’s drug use and drinking? Our Parents Toll-Free Helpline 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) is a nationwide support service that is here to help you. Please call us today.
The post Should I Cut Down On My Drinking? Alcohol Awareness Month Is a Good Time to Check appeared first on Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
So, you’re ready to have the marijuana talk – until your teen blindsides you with this:
But YOU smoked when you were younger.
Of all the questions and roadblocks you may face when trying to talk with your kids about marijuana, this one is arguably the toughest. The accusation – true or not – can rattle you and derail your conversation.
Let’s break this one up into three possible responses: what to say if you didn’t use marijuana when you were younger; what to say if you did, but you’re uncomfortable talking about it; and what to say if you did, and you are comfortable sharing that with your teen.
If you didn’t use marijuana:
If you didn’t smoke marijuana, you are in a great position to respond to this honestly and keep the conversation focused on your teen. Before responding, though, you might want to think about why you chose not to use, and then share that with your teen. Did you decide not to use because you didn’t want it to get in the way of activities you enjoyed? Did you simply not feel the pressure to?
Once you identify this, you can say something like, “Believe it or not, I didn’t smoke weed when I was younger. I knew it would interfere with swimming, something I really enjoyed.” Or, “I actually didn’t smoke weed when I was younger. It didn’t have a place in my life, and would have interfered with my schoolwork.”
Remember: if you didn’t smoke, you should be extra careful to keep an open mind, and not come across as judgmental. Your teen will already be vulnerable to comparing his or her decisions to your own, and keeping the conversation focused on your teen’s own experience is important. This way, your teen will stay positive, be more open and the conversation can continue to move in the right direction.
If you did use marijuana, but don’t want to talk about it:
Maybe you did use marijuana when you were younger, but don’t feel like you want to share this fact with your teen at all. That’s ok; this is a great time to redirect the conversation back to him or her. You can say something like, “This isn’t about me; we can talk about me and my past at another time. I want to talk about you right now. I love you and care for you, and I don’t want you to do anything that is going to interfere with your development or prevent you from being your best, healthiest self.”
If you did use marijuana, and you want to share that with your teen:
If you feel comfortable, you can talk about your own past use with your teen in a way that is productive and explains to your teen why you don’t want him or her to use. You can say something like,” I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t, and that’s why I’m talking to you about this. I will tell you that when I did smoke, my judgement was compromised, and the only thing that prevented me from getting into some horrible situations was luck.”
You can then add even more about why you don’t want your teen to use – like, “You may be thinking, you did it, and nothing horrendous happened to you. I just want you to understand that these are chances you may take, and they are just that: chances. A lot of harmful things don’t happen to you because of your ability to make clear decisions. And when you’re stoned, that ability is compromised.”
No matter what you share about your past or the words you choose to use with your teen, remember: it is important to show compassion, love and support to your teen – even when responding to a difficult accusation like this one.
For more tips on how to start a conversation about marijuana, skills you can use and additional examples of how to answer tough questions, download your FREE marijuana talk kit now at drugfree.org/MJTalkKit.
While there is no exact “script” for talking with your teen about marijuana, our new Marijuana Talk Kit explores common teen questions and arguments – and offers tips for what you can say in response.
For example, what should you say if your teen asked you, “Would you rather I drink alcohol? Weed is so much safer.”
First, instead of getting rattled by your teen’s question, try posing a question back. (This acts as a buffer while you think about your answer.) Try something like: “What is going on in your life that makes you feel like you want to do either?”
Your teen may likely mumble back, “Nothing” (or another one-word answer), but keep in mind that even the word “nothing” is an opportunity to lead to another supportive statement from you.
You can then try, “I’m glad to hear there isn’t anything going on in your life that makes you want to drink or smoke.”
Lastly, it’s a good idea to say something along these lines: “Honestly, I don’t want you to be doing anything that can harm you — whether that’s smoking pot, cigarettes, drinking or behaving recklessly. I’m interested in knowing why you think weed is safer than alcohol.”
This type of sentiment reminds your teen that you care deeply about his health and well-being, and expresses genuine curiosity about his thought process, is going to help him open up.
And that’s what it’s all about. Engaging your teen so you can have ongoing, open and positive conversations. That’s how you’ll better understand the pressures he or she may be facing. And that’s how you can express your concern and support and love. And while your teen may not admit it, deep down that’s something all teenagers want.
Learn more about what to say to your teen about marijuana. Download your free Marijuana Talk Kit >
At the Partnership, we’ve been talking a lot about marijuana. As you may know, we recently launched our new Marijuana Talk Kit, designed to help parents navigate the constantly evolving drug landscape and have productive conversations with their teens.
One way to set yourself up for a meaningful conversation – one during which your teen hears you and responds thoughtfully – is by knowing some words to use and avoid when talking with him about marijuana (or any issue). The Kit includes a chart of words to avoid, and helps you replace them with words to which your teen will better respond.
Take the word “but,” for example. “But” is a small word, but in using it, you risk shutting down a conversation. You might often catch yourself saying things like, “You did well on your report card, but I need you to do better.” Replacing “but” with another small word – “and” – can go a long way toward improving the outcome with your teen. “You did well on your report card, and I know you can do better.”
Why? A word like “but” can be polarizing and can have the unintended effect of negating and erasing everything that came before it. In the example, “You did well on your report card, but I need you to do better,” your teen will probably only hear “I need you to do better.” When you replace “but” with “and,” it acts as a better bridge between the two thoughts and communicates both points clearly to your teen – the praise and the areas in which you want him to improve.
The Kit is full of other examples of words to use and avoid – like “should” vs. “want”; “bad” vs. “harmful”; “disappointed” vs. “worried” and more.
Learn what words to use and avoid. Download your free Marijuana Talk Kit here >