movie night1. After watching TV show or a movie with your child, stimulate conversation about any character involved in an addictive behavior. Ask what your child thinks led to this involvement and whether or not he thinks the character was aware of the problem. Determine if your child perceived the behavior as cool, and discuss.

2. If someone you know was taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, make sure to use it as a springboard for conversation. Talk about the dangers of alcohol poisoning and the unhealthy aspects of over-drinking. You can also talk about the regrettable things that can happen when one is incoherent and about the importance of guarding one’s reputation. This is a great time to brainstorm on alternate ways to socialize that are more productive, rewarding, and not foolish or dangerous. Make sure to also emphasize the hazards of getting in the car with a driver who had been drinking.

3. The latest escapades of celebrities are flashed all over internet news feeds, TV, newspapers, and magazines. Use the undesirable behaviors of popular figures as springboards for educative dialog. You can explore what it means when a person has to go to a rehab, why celebrities are more prone to substance abuse, and if their types of lifestyles are indeed truly admirable.

4. While watching or talking about a game, speak about the athletes who are known to have used illegal substances for performance enhancement or other reasons. Discuss the dangers associated with drug use. Make sure to mention how one’s career can be destroyed by this kind of involvement and how important it is to be honest.

5. If it is apparent to your child that someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse issue, be open and honest. If you can, share details of this person’s struggle but make sure also to emphasize that it is possible for the person to recover. You can also propose learning more about addiction and the ways in which your family can offer the proper support.

This article was adapted from an article by