If you misused drugs at some time in your life, it might feel hard to tell your kids not to misuse drugs. Everyone handles this problem differently.

If you choose to tell your kids about your past:

  • Don't give a lot of details about your past drug use.
  • Point out the problems your drug use might have caused. For example, are there things you don't remember because you were on drugs? Did you fight with friends or family because of drugs? Did drug use keep you from saving money, getting better grades, or getting a better job?
  • Explain why you wouldn't use drugs now. Tell them that we now know more about the bad effects of drugs, especially how drugs can hurt the brain.
  • Say that you want your kids to avoid making the same mistakes you made.
  • Be open to responses that your kids may have to your past drug use.

Parents who used to take drugs often don't talk with their kids about drugs at all. They're afraid the kids will copy what they did. But research shows that:

  • When parents tell their kids they don't want them to do drugs, the kids are less likely to do drugs.
  • Kids want their parents' advice about drugs.

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