As they grow, every young person will make decisions about whether to use alcohol or other drugs.
Whether you're a parent, caregiver, relative or friend, it can be challenging to know how to talk to rangatahi about drugs. But letting them know that they can talk to you is important.
It's common for young people to experiment, and for most this doesn't lead to harm.
Many young people will choose to try drugs, some will get into difficulties because of it, and a few will develop long term problems.
To help you navigate these tricky conversations, check out the two videos below on preparing young people for a world where drugs exist and responding to an incident involving alcohol or other drugs.
To help prepare you to have a supportive conversation, try out our conversation planner. It can help you think through how, when and where.
Our Did You Know video series makes it easy for young people to get the key facts about different substances, and can help to deepen your conversation. Keep in mind that the conversation itself is more important than a particular outcome.
If you need help supporting a young person who's having issues, contact one of the services below.
The Alcohol Drug Helpline supports anyone who is concerned about their own or someone else’s drug use. They are open 24/7. Their service is confidential and is completely free.
Asian Family Services offer support that is designed specifically for Asian people. The counsellors, social workers, and other support staff understand Asian culture and the challenges Asian people can face living in New Zealand. They are qualified and able to speak many different languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi, etc.).
Call (0800 862 342) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
Visit the Family Drug Support website or call 0800 337 877. They provide one-to-one counselling for family/whānau members using the 5-Step Method. They are available for anyone in New Zealand.
Call Brave Hearts on 0508 272 834 for support. They have online and in-person meetings and can have someone run a family meeting for you in person, on the phone, or online. You can also visit their website to see stories from people in similar situations.