DEA Tip of the Week: How to talk to teens about drug abuse

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — With the stress of school and campus life over and summer activities beginning, the DEA said this can be a great time for parents to talk to young people about substance misuse.

“Drug use and overdose deaths are serious and difficult topics to bring up with our young people. But given the scary statistics we saw during the pandemic and half of 2021 so far, it’s important to have the talk,” said Carlos Briano, public information officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration El Paso Division.

He said that according to a DEA poll, teens want their parents to talk to them about these difficult topics. Three out of four people polled said their parents are the No. 1 influence in their lives.

“One way is to reference the news. Bringing up a recent news story can open up a discussion about the health and safety issues of drug misuse,” said Briano. “You can also let young people know substance misuse can escalate. For example, discuss how a large percentage of prescription drug abuse leads to heroin use.”

The DEA said parents should talk about consequences.

“Talk about how drug abuse can permanently derail dreams and plans for the future. And a final tip for today: talk to other parents and field professionals,” he said. “If you’re having a hard time speaking to your young loved ones about drug misuse, you need to know you are not alone. Your local medical professionals can also shed valuable light on the topic.”

The DEA has numerous resources on dea.gov under community outreach.

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