Alcohol Abuse
Talk to Your Kids about Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs

Talk to your child about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Knowing the facts will help your child make healthy choices.

What do I need to say?
When you talk about tobacco, alcohol, and drugs:

  • Teach your child the facts.
  • Give your child clear rules.
  • Find out what your child already knows.
  • Be prepared to answer your child’s questions.
  • Talk with your child about how to say “no.”

Check out these strategies to help you talk with your kids about staying healthy and drug free.

Alcohol Use: Conversation starters

It takes courage to talk to a family member or friend about a drinking problem. These tips can help you get started.

Be honest about how you feel.

  • “I care about you.”
  • “I'm worried about your health. Drinking too much puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, liver problems, and some cancers.”
  • “Your drinking is affecting our relationship.”

Offer tips on how to cut back or quit.

  • “Set a drinking limit. Stick to your limit by writing down every drink you have.”
  • “Try taking a night or two off from drinking each week.”
  • “When we go out, we can stay away from bars or other places that make you want to drink.”
  • “If you are having trouble sticking to your limits, consider joining a support group or talking to a doctor.”

Support making a change.

  • “How can I support you?”
  • “Talk to me when you want a drink. We can go for a walk or do something else instead.”
  • “Let’s enjoy activities that don’t involve drinking – like seeing a movie or working in the garden.”
Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation

If you choose to drink, have only a moderate (limited) amount. This means:

  • No more than 1 drink a day for women
  • No more than 2 drinks a day for men

One drink is a:

  • Bottle of beer (12 ounces)
  • Glass of wine (5 ounces)
  • Shot of liquor (1.5 ounces)

For most adults, moderate drinking doesn’t cause any serious health problems. And if you don't drink at all, there's no reason to start!


Call 2-1-1

2-1-1 can be accessed by phone or computer. A toll-free call to 2-1-1 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve—and save—lives. You’ll find information about:

  • supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
  • emergency information and disaster relief
  • employment and education opportunities
  • services for veterans
  • health care, vaccination and health epidemic information
  • addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
  • reentry help for ex-offenders
  • support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
  • a safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse

Whether in times of natural disaster or personal crisis, 2-1-1 is committed to being the first, most essential resource to anyone who needs help.

MADD & The Power of Parents -

Teaching Students About Alcohol's Effects on the Brain? There's an App for That.

Alcohol's Effects on the Brain, (AlcoholFX) is a free, science-based app for tablets that teaches students ages 10-12 how alcohol can harm their brains if they drink. Based on lesson plans from SAMHSA'sReach Out Now initiative, the app can easily integrate with instruction in fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms. Visit Google Play or Apple iTunes to download.

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