For Parents Worried about their Children and Alcohol and Drugs

Parents often worry that their children will get involved with drinking or drugs.

Research consistently shows when young people have fewer risk factors and stronger protective factors they are less likely to develop problems across a range of risky behaviours including misuse of alcohol and other drugs and sexual behaviour.

Key messages for parents about alcohol, drugs and young people:

  • All drugs, both legal (alcohol) and illegal (e.g. cannabis, ecstasy, etc) have risks
  • Not all young people get involved with drugs
  • Not every young person who takes drugs develops problems
  • Many children and young people experiment with drugs – alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, etc.
    Not all experimentation leads to continued use….or misuse
  • If a young person does develop problems, they are more likely to have certain risk factors in their lives
  • Strong relationships and a young person feeling connected to the family and school are powerful protective factors
  • The bottom line for parents and carers if they find their children are involved with alcohol or drugs: Don’t panic and over react.

So as parents how do we build these protective factors that have been shown to make a difference?

Resources for parents

Dealing with Young People’s Alcohol and other Drug Misuse is a guide for parents and carers concerned about their children and alcohol or drugs. It will help parents and carers look at options for responding in ways that work best for them. Click on the book to download.

Talking to your Children about Tough Issues (TATI) is a four session workshop for parents aimed at preventing problems as children move toward adolescence. It will explore ways to build key protective factors.
For more information: Contact Lisa at Lisburn YMCA, Telephone: (028) 9267 0918 

The Power of Parents in a Child’s World  leaflet outlines key risk factors that increase the risk that young people will get into problems with alcohol, drugs or other risky behaviours. It will also identify protective factors that can be strengthened across schools, the community, families and within young people themselves.

Where can I get help?

If parents and carers want help for their young person regarding help regarding alcohol or drug issues contact

DAISY (Services for young people and their families)
Telephone: (028) 9043 5815

The One Stop Shop: information and support for young people aged 11 to 25 is delivered through FASA in Bangor and the North Down and Ards area.
Telephone: (028) 9127 1322

Gateway Team, For family support
Telephone: 0300 100 0300


Talk to Frank
: 0800 776 600

Telephone: 0800 808 8000

In the event of an emergency contact your GP
Gateway: Out of Hours Emergency Service

(after 5pm each evening at weekends, and public/bank holidays)
Telephone: (028) 9056 5444