What to Expect when talking to your Teen about Drug Use


If you are here, it is likely you have a loved one that you suspect of alcohol or drug use. Unfortunately, most people have been affected by drug use or know someone who has. Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are so complex because they affect every part of a person; family and social relationships, job/ school performance, physical and psychological functions, etc. The effect on the family is of particular interest to me and in my opinion, far under discussed. I would like to discuss the role of the family and what family members can do to support the person without supporting the addiction in future blogs.

using drugsThis particular post is a follow-up to my blogs on signs that your teen is using and how to talk to your teen about their drug use. However, this list can be applied to both adult and teen discussions addressing drug use. I know this is a very uncomfortable thing to discuss and it would be much easier to ignore the signs, but Mom/ Dad/ Grams you are doing the right thing. The list of expectations below may seem negative but please understand that my desire is to prepare you for this discussion because it is so so so important to the healing of your loved one.

Here are 5 expectations of what might happen when addressing drug use:

  1. Your Teen might lie. I’d say he or she will lie. Perhaps not about whether they used drugs or not. But certainly about how much, how often, and/or when it started. Do your best not to take this personally; this lie has to do with the love of the substance not with a diminished love for you. Mom, Dad, you know when your child lies; you always have; that feelings in the pit of your stomach; the way Jr cannot maintain contact; the slight change in his voice. Do not let rationalization or your idealization convince you otherwise. If your teen is using drugs and they do not want to stop, they will lie. If your teen is using drugs and they don’t think it is a big deal, they will lie. If your teen is using drugs and they are ashamed, they might lie.


  1. Your teen probably likes it. If your teen didn’t like drugs, you wouldn’t be having this conversation because A. They would have never experimented or B. They would not have continued use after experimentation. Why? Because using drugs is uncomfortable.


  1. The Blame Game. I am not sure how many addicts you have interacted with but I have personally and professionally known many! Not only are 1 and 2 common characteristics, but the blame game is a classic. If your teen is honest with you it will be accompanied with blame. Blame of you, blame of your other children, blame of the neighbor, etc. From their perspective this is simply not their fault.


  1. You will be met with defense. How dare you?! How dare you ask me if I am doing what I am doing? Really. Your teen is very likely to be defensive during this discussion BUT hopefully it will give opportunity for a less defensive discussion in your near future.



  1. They will seek sympathy. Not only will they want you to feel sorry for their situation but they will do all they can to split any parties to do so. Like when they were younger and they asked the other parent until they got the answer they wanted, they will do their best to separate the opposition. Remember you are stronger together. Your using teen will want you to feel sorry for them for bringing up the topic of drug use. Your teen will want you to feel sorry for them for accusing them of drug use. Your teen will want you to feel sorry for them. You may in fact feel sorry for them.

I wish you all the luck in the conversation you have ahead of you and in getting your teen the help they really need. Remember that the sooner this conversation happens the better. The longer this use continues the greater the consequences for your teen and family.

32 thoughts on “What to Expect when talking to your Teen about Drug Use

    • theconservativemommy says:

      Drug use, no matter what the age has a real impact on the whole family…especially when talking about our youth. Sorry you have dealt with it. .. too many have. My heart also goes out to the families.

  1. Megan Tilley says:

    This is a great blog! Both my parents were alcoholics and my mother a drug user. This is a great post to read!

  2. Rosaura says:

    Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is really annoying. A good web site with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

    • Jody Cowan says:

      This is great. I blog a lot about addiction, for I have 2 addict kids. Neither is using at the moment, but it’s going to be a worry the rest of my life. I have one daughter is Prison rehab here in Ga (RSAT). She gets out in November. So we pray every day. I’m a member of TheAddictsMom and that’s a wonderful site and FB group for support. I love your blog. Glad I found you on Fridays Blog Booster Party.

  3. Sheryl says:

    Fantastic post! I have a 13-year-old son and we have had the talk about sex and drugs and alcohol. I don’t think he is using drugs or having sex (thank the lord), but we thought it was important to have an open dialog. He is comfortable talking to me (through Instagram or text messages) but that is FINE with me. As long as we have the channels open, I feel like we can make it through the horrible teen years. I have a younger son (he is 7) and I know he is going to be hte one to push the envelope…

  4. Leslie says:

    I have three kids who are now in their 20s and I can attest that they will do things you don’t expect no matter how well they have been raised. So it’s important to have tools you think you will never need in your parenting toolbox ahead of time.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for bringing this wisdom to Fridays Blog Booster Party. The advice on keeping open channels of conversation is so very important. Thanks for the help this will be to many readers.

  6. Kortney says:

    Howdy! I just want to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you might have right here on this post. I can be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  7. Judi online says:

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

  8. taruhan bola says:

    Hello! I’ve been reading your weblog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

  9. Liz Mays says:

    I can’t even imagine what a battle this would be if it had begun. It’s terribly sad! This is great that you’ve pointed out some things to look for though.

  10. CourtneyLynne says:

    Ahhh thankfully my daughter is still a toddler, but I’m totally dreading the day conversations like this start to happen.

  11. Autumn says:

    This is such a hard topic for families to have to deal with! I never experiemented or was tempted by things like this, but I have seen so many of my friends do so. It can take years or decades to break a small experiment started by a teen for fun.

  12. sacha says:

    I love the fact that you spoke about matters that would make people uncomfortable and for that reason not help fix the wounds that lead to drug abuse. For example, you mention that they lie and might like it..That’s something that is hard for a parent to take in..but they must in order to help the addict

    • theconservativemommy says:

      Thanks Sacha. I just want families to have a realistic idea of what will happen. Otherwise they are often overwhelmed and surprised by the outcome. Hopefully the other posts in these series give a good understanding of how to stay positive in response to the adolescent.

  13. judi bola says:

    That is really fascinating, You are a very professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to in the hunt for more of your wonderful post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *