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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Video: drugs and your child

Tips for parents on how to talk to children about drugs, plus information about the health and legal issues around drug taking.

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Text version

Talk to Frank

Find out about the drugs your teen might come across

First woman: "I do worry about drugs when it comes to my own family, yeah."

Second woman: "My daughter's just gone to university so I'm going to have to [say] 'make sure you don't get into any of that while you're away'."

Third woman: "I think they know more about drugs than me. I think the kids do nowadays."

Young woman: "I think if my parents ever suspected that I took drugs, they would absolutely go crazy."

If you are worried about drugs, what should you do?

Callum Jacobs, FRANK: "Parents should really do their homework and find out the facts about drugs if they want to talk to their children and help them. And there's lots of advice, websites, phone lines, places where parents can go to do that.

"It's always a minority of young people who are using drugs at any one time. Parents worry, I think, that drug use can lead into all kinds of difficult and dangerous areas. Obviously there are health problems, there's the idea of becoming addicted to a drug, the legal issues that children might get involved with if they go get caught with drugs.

What are the signs that my teen may be taking drugs?

"There might be rapid mood swings, there could be school work suffering, it could be hanging out with a new group of friends."

Other signs to look out for include:

  • lack of appetite
  • disrupted sleep pattern
  • lack of motivation

What do I do if my teen is using drugs?

Callum Jacobs, FRANK: "One of the first things is to make sure they don’t have the conversation when they suspect their children might be high using drugs at the time. The natural reaction is probably an overreaction. There'll be concern and there might be fear; there might be anger. But what's really important is to try and treat the situation calmly and often by overreacting what will happen is you'll make the situation worse.

"It's easy to think if your child takes drugs they'll be in all kinds of trouble, but it's also important to remember that it's not necessarily going to lead to that. And being there - listening to what they’ve got to say and helping if they need help - is probably the best way that they can tackle the situation."

Useful tips:

  • find out the facts
  • try not to overreact
  • talk to FRANK: visit for more information

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