Talking About Drugs by Age Group

Elementary Age

Talking About Drugs With Kids in Middle School (Ages 11-14)

Talking About Drugs With Kids in High School (Ages 15-18)

Parent Talking Kit via CVS Health


Drugs & Alcohol Defined

Here is a list of what’s out there, names that teens use for them, and the effects

Rx Drug Guide for Parents, Via CVS Health


How To Discard Unused Medication

Steps on Disposing of Rx drugs


Talk to Your Kids About Drugs, Hidden in Plain View and Other Stories to Support You



Recognizing the Signs of Addiction 

Substance use disorder is a progressive disease. No one starts using heroin without warning signs. It may start with alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, and most commonly prescription pain killers.

Know the warning signs before it's too late. 

Physical Signs

  • Physical appearance

  • Small pupils

  • Decreased respiratory rate

  • Non responsiveness

  • Drowsy

  • Loss or increase in appetite

  • Weight loss or weight gain

  • Intense flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, sweating, shaky hands, feet or head, large pupils)

  • Wearing long-sleeves or hiding arms

Behavioral Signs

  • Change in attitude and/or personality

  • Tendency to avoid contact with family and/or friends

  • Change in friends, hobbies, activities and/or sports

  • Drops in grades or performance at work

  • Isolation and secretive behavior

  • Moodiness, irritability, nervousness, giddiness

  • Tendency to steal

Advanced Warning Signs

  • Missing medications

  • Burnt or missing spoons and/or bottle caps

  • Syringes

  • Small bags with powder residue

  • Missing shoe laces and/or belts


Get Help

Here is a link for information on how to find help from the NYS Department of Health.

 Information for Parents from NYS Gov


Useful Websites

The information and tools on the websites can help you better understand drug use.

Call Parents Toll-Free Helpline 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)  Find Help:

1-877-8-HOPENY call or text HOPENY

Information for First Responders

Heroin and Opioid Overdose Prevention Training

Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs

Opioid Overdose Prevention Information

National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)

NIDA for Teens

NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS)

NYS Department of Health (DOH)

NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)