The reality is that you cannot stop your child coming into contact with alcohol or drugs at some point. Nearly all young people are exposed to alcohol/drugs in some way, either through peers, the media or other family members.
It is not uncommon for young people to try alcohol and drugs, but it may not be as common as you think. About a fifth of young people (11-16 year olds) in Northern Ireland report having taken drugs and over half have drank alcohol. However, only a small portion of young people who experiment with alcohol or drugs go on to develop problems.
We understand that even moderate alcohol or drug use can have a big impact on your relationship with your child. As parents, we can influence how our children think and behave in relation to drugs and we can take action if they become involved in drugs or develop problems related to drug use.