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20th Jun 2023

Summer break: How to talk to your teen about alcohol and drug use

Sophie Collins


Parents are being urged to take part in an upcoming webinar if they are in any way, shape, or form worried about their teen’s alcohol and drug use – or their potential to be swayed towards it.

The HSE’s webinar for parents titled ‘Parents Matter: the role of parents in substance prevention and education’ will take place on June 21st at 7pm.

The aim of this advice seminar to provide information about alcohol and drugs for parents across Ireland.

It will highlight the important role that parents can have on young people’s attitudes and behaviours towards substance use and provide information regarding local support services.

Professor Bobby Smyth, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, HSE Addiction Services, said: “Our aim is to support the parents of children and adolescents across different areas in Ireland. While parents are just one of many influences upon substance use by adolescents, we know that parents are the most important single influence.

“Families have the potential to act as a major protective force in the lives of children and adolescents. Mutually supportive family relationships generally influence the prevention of substance use among young people.”

Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, added: “Drug prevention and education is a key priority in the Government’s health-led approach to drug use.

“It protects children and young people from the harms of drug use and increases resilience, life skills and healthy life choices. This parents’ webinar series can contribute to drug prevention and education by assisting parents to positively influence their children’s values, attitudes and behaviours relating to drug use.”

A spokesperson said this online event will support parents to understand:

  • The current drug and alcohol landscape, including the latest drug trends such as cannabis edibles and other substances of concern
  • Their role in supporting healthy decision making by their children
  • The reasons why we seek to delay or avoid young people’s entry into the world of alcohol and drug use
  • The steps which parents can take to reduce the likelihood that their son or daughter develops a substance use problem
  • The HSE Adolescent Addiction Service’s experiences in working with young people
  • The information and support options for concerned parents in their local areas.

Further information and a registration link to the webinar for parents is available on


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