Information for Parents

Alcohol and Drugs - what parents need to know: information for parents and carers. Parents and carers need practical advice if they are worried that a young person is misusing drugs or alcohol.

There’s no time like the present to talk to your child about alcohol as they begin to learn about the effects of alcohol by the time they are in primary 7.

Tips on how to start the conversation:

  • Be honest. As well as discussing the risks involved when drinking alcohol, talk about why some people enjoy drinking.
  • Seeing alcohol on a television programme or on the news can be a good way of introducing the topic and starting a discussion.
  • Ask your child if they have talked about alcohol in school. Finding out what they have learnt and already know can be a good starting point for you.
  • If you don’t know the answer to something your child asks you could find out together.
  • If your child is curious about alcohol and asks you about it, answer honestly. Alcohol should be something you can your children can talk about naturally.

Talk about the effects alcohol will have on your child’s appearance and relationships; the calories and weight gain, aging, falling out with friends.

This may be more effective than warning them of the long term health effects and risks of drinking alcohol, which can seem a long time away to a teenager.

Other interests and hobbies that your child has can occupy and deter them from drinking alcohol, so encourage any interests they have.


Healthier Inverclyde Project


For further information please visit the alcohol & drugs more information page for links to more websites.

Why it's good to talk to your children about alcohol

There are plenty of reasons why we should talk to our children about drinking, and sooner rather then later (although, it's never too late!):

Information about Drugs for Parents and Carers

There are many sources of information for parents who want to know more about drugs and how to discuss and address drug related issues with children and young people. The links on this page (see list on right hand side) provide a wide range of sources. They offer practical advice for parents -websites



What is Ecstasy: Ecstasy is what is known as a Class A Drug. The chemical name for Ecstasy is MDMA.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, illegal drugs are placed into one of 3 classes - A, B or C. This is broadly based on the harms they cause either to the user or to society when they are misused.

Class A Drugs include: Ecstasy (MDMA), Heroin (diamorphine), Cocaine (including crack) and Methadone.

The class into which a drug is placed affects the maximum penalty for an offence involving the drug. For example, Class A drugs attract the most severe penalty as they are considered likely to cause the most serious harm.
Drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act are illegal to have, produce, give away or sell.


A big problem with ecstasy is that it’s rarely pure. Sometimes, there is no MDMA at all. Sometimes, it contains other drugs, like which can be fatal. Regardless of what it looks like and what it is called, you can’t be sure what’s in a pill or a powder and you can’t predict how you’ll react.

Some ecstasy pills are more powerful than others and could make you seriously ill, and some could be lethal. You can never be sure what’s in a pill – even if someone tells you what’s in it, they might be wrong – and you don’t know how you will react to a particular drug or particular dose. Everyone is different and ecstasy can affect people in different ways.
If you have taken ecstasy, take regular breaks from activities like dancing, to cool down. Keep hydrated by sipping no more than a pint of water or non-alcoholic drink every hour.
If you've taken something and start to feel unwell, take time out to look after yourself and ask for help if you need it. If the problem doesn't improve or is getting worse, you should seek medical help.

If you want to talk to FRANK in confidence then you can call the helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0300 123 6600 or you can chat online between 2-6pm every day.

Useful web site

Drug Use : Worried about a child or young person?

Information for parents and carers:

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