Your First Step: Ask

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The thought of teens using drugs is not a comfortable one for most parents. You don't want to believe that your child could be involved in using drugs or alcohol, but you also don't want to ignore the possible early warning signs. What steps should you take to address the issue? Don't just ask yourself, "Is my teen using drugs or alcohol?" If you suspect that your teen may be using drugs or drinking, your first step is a simple one — ask him.

Through this series of short videos, our experts share insights on how to prepare for talking with your teen about drug or alcohol use. Get tips on the best time to have the conversation, and practical advice on what — and how — to ask if your teen is using drugs, and how to prepare for the answer.

Not only is it OK to ask your teen whether he or she is using drugs — it may be the best thing you can do to help your teen. Research shows that kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use. By talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol, you can help them make better choices and live safer, healthier lives.