Parenting - Talk About It

This guide has been developed to help parents and carers talk to their children about alcohol and other drugs. It explores how to have these conversations with young children through to teens, why young people might use alcohol and other drugs, and how to recognise when a young person may need help.

Father talks to teen son while walking in park

A guide to having open conversations about alcohol and other drugs with young people

When it comes to preparing your young person for situations when they may be around alcohol and other drugs talking about it – often – is key.

We know talking to children and teenagers about alcohol and other drugs (AOD) can reduce the chances they’ll drink or take other drugs or experience AOD harms later in life.1

You can start these conversations from an early age, to support your young person before they go to high school.

In fact, raising this topic early means you can establish that there’s no silly questions and no off-limit topics.

This guide is designed to help you:

  • have appropriate conversations about alcohol and other drugs with children and teenagers
  • understand some of the common issues young people face in relation to drugs and alcohol
  • support your child or teenager when it comes to alcohol and other drugs.

Talking to young children and pre-teens

You can start talking about alcohol and other drugs from an early age.


Teenagers, alcohol and other drug use

Why do teenagers use alcohol or other drugs?

Risk-taking is a key part of adolescent development. It helps teenagers develop their identity, build experience and gain peer approval.


  1. Positive Choices. Drug and Alcohol Education: Parent Booklet 2019 [13.10.2022].