Some teens will experiment regardless of what we say and do. This is where Harm Reduction can play a role in keeping them safe. Harm reduction strategies include never getting in the car with someone who is intoxicated, calling an adult when if they are in an uncomfortable or risky situation, calling 911 when someone has passed out and is unresponsive, if someone is passed-out they should not lay on their back because of the risk that they may choke on their own vomit, practicing moderation, and not mixing drugs (especially with alcohol). Providing harm reduction strategies does not mean you are promoting teen drug use, but instead, you are “meeting them where they are at” to promote safety and opening a door into treatment as needed.
Safety First, a reality-based approach to drug use, written by mother and medical sociologist Marsha Rosenbaum.
X-Plan, a creative, no-pressure, way for parents to use technology to help their teens get out of situations they may be uncomfortable in.
Create a family contract. Some parents use a written and signed contract to underscore the importance of safety, family, values, and outlining expectations and consequences. This is a sample contract, the details can be adapted to meet your family's unique situations. We encourage you to involve your teen in identifying the values, expectations, and consequences for breaking the contract.