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Parenting and substance use

Parenting can be a challenge, especially working out the best way to help your child grow up. Most young people want a good relationship with their family, even if they don't show it.

As they grow up they are figuring out who they are and finding a place in their family and community. They may try to be independent, but they still need you. Show them you care and are interested in what is happening in their life. Try not to interrupt them when they are speaking, and check you have understood them before you speak. 

At some point, your child will make a decision about using alcohol and other drugs. Many young people in New Zealand choose to try it, some of them will get into difficulties because of it, and a few will develop long term problems. There are things you can do as a family to guide your young person and reduce the chance of their running into difficulties or developing long term problems.

Tips for parents and carers

Have fun with without drugs and alcohol

Let young people know they can talk to you about alcohol and other drugs

Help them learn how to set boundaries and communicate clear expectations

Give clear and encouraging messages and let them know that you care

Teaching them how to drink alcohol often does not mean they will drink less or be safer

Remember, it is common for young people to experiment with alcohol and other drugs

Only talk to your young person when they are clear-headed

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Responding in a crisis

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Managing withdrawal

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Looking after yourself

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Seeking treatment and support

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Drug Index

We believe that access to accurate, clear information is essential to reduce drug-related harm. This index provides harm reduction advice for drugs that are common in New Zealand.

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Alcohol and Drug Helpline are available 24/7 for confidential advice, support and guidance

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