Kids hear about drugs everywhere, it seems: on TV, the radio, and the news; in music and movies; and sometimes even on the street or on the playground.

Photo of a father talking to his young son©istock.com/neicebirdResearch shows that when parents tell their kids they don't want them to do drugs, the kids are less likely to do drugs.

The teen years are the most likely time for someone to start taking drugs. And starting drug use as a teen can lead to drug problems when they grow up.

There are many things you can do to help your children stay away from drugs and make good choices:

  • Talk with your children about drugs. Explain how taking drugs can hurt their health, their friends and family, and their future. Tell them you don't want them to do drugs.
  • Be a part of their lives. Spend time together. Even when times are hard, kids can make it when they know that the adults in their life care about them.
  • Know where your children are and what they're doing. Keeping track of your children helps you protect them. It gives them fewer chances to get into drugs.
  • Set clear rules and enforce them fairly. Kids need rules they can count on. That is how they learn for themselves what is safe and what can get them in trouble.
  • Be a good example for your children. You might not think so, but kids look up to their parents. Show them how you get along with people and deal with stress, so they can learn how to do it.
  • Teach your children how to refuse drugs. Kids often do drugs just to fit in with the other kids. Help them practice how to say no if someone offers them drugs.
  • Make your home safe. Do not have people in the house who abuse drugs and alcohol. Keep track of medicines and cleaning products.

 For more advice, visit: