For Parents

Adolescence is a challenging time for all concerned, with many parents feeling as though they are not adequately prepared, particularly in areas such as alcohol and other drugs. Although parents often doubt their importance and influence during the teenage years, research indicates that they play a vital role in the development of their adolescent children.

Every family is different and there are a range of different circumstances that will dictate how a parent responds to problems that may arise in this area. Having good quality, accurate information is vital.

To assist parents DARTA has developed a range of resources that examine topical issues, empowering them to have open and honest family discussions in this complex area.

Fact Sheets

These downloadable resources provide information for parents on a wide range of topics, including ‘Introducing your child to alcohol’, ‘Alcohol and the developing brain’ and’ ‘Hosting a teenage party’.

Useful Websites

A list of useful websites for parents has been made available that provide good quality alcohol and other drug information, as well as others that cover issues around parenting and adolescence.

‘Doing Drugs’ Podcast

In his podcast for parents, ‘Doing Drugs’, Paul Dillon answers questions he is asked by parents, particularly those whose children are entering their teen years. This series covers a range of AOD issues including ‘Parenting, alcohol, parties and sleepovers in year 9’ and ‘What do you say if your teen asks if you ever used drugs?’

‘Doing Drugs’ Blog

Launched in 2012, this blog provides Paul Dillon the opportunity to answer frequently asked questions around parenting and AOD, as well as make commentary on news stories of the day and other topical issues, attempting to sort out fact from fiction whenever possible.


Electronic or e-cigarettes are devices which heat liquid (called ‘e-liquid’) into an aerosol (or vapour) which is then inhaled into a person’s lungs. They are also commonly referred to as ‘vapes’ and can either be refillable or disposable. Most e-liquids are flavoured, with some containing nicotine, and others not. Public health groups have successfully lobbied the Australian Government to restrict access to vaping, believing that it will lead to increasing numbers of young people smoking. In other parts of the world, however, vaping is now regarded as an effective harm reduction strategy, with advocates claiming it will assist those who want to quit smoking and save lives.

Vaping has become an increasing problem for many Australian schools in recent years, with students bringing devices onto the grounds, where they have been bought and sold, as well as used. This has created significant problems and has attracted media attention. Many parents have also come forward to discuss their concerns, with some struggling to assist their child with nicotine dependence linked to their vaping.

Vaping is a new phenomenon and the continuing polarised debate about the issue combined with a lack of knowledge can be overwhelming for many parents. In response, DARTA has developed a number of resources for parents that may assist them in this complex area. These are as follows:

Vaping Fact Sheet

This resource answers the most frequently asked questions that parents have about e-cigarettes and vaping. Special attention is given to disposable vapes bought illegally in Australia that appear to be the devices preferred by young people.

What if you discover your child is vaping?

Finding out a child is vaping can be confronting for parents. This resource suggests how best to prepare for a discussion with your child, as well as a suggested ‘step-by-step’ process of what should be said to ensure the best outcome.

How to respond to common vaping statements

Parents are often met with statements about vaping ‘safety’ when attempting to challenge their teen’s use of these devices. This resource provides possible responses parents could use to address such statements.

Vaping Resources for Parents

DARTA has provided links to resources specifically developed for parents, as well as some downloadable fact sheets on how to talk to their children about vaping and the associated risks.


‘Schoolies’ Week’ (or ‘Leavers’ Week’ as it is known in WA) is an event that can concern many parents of Year 12 students across the country. Schoolies, as it has become better known, has become a major event and, as a result, receives a great deal of media attention.
It has also become a highly commercialised event, with promoters making a large amount of money organising travel and accommodation for Schoolies. Students are bombarded with promotional material at an earlier and earlier age telling them that they need to book early to ensure their place and this can put great pressure on parents who are often not prepared for the ‘Schoolies Week conversation’.

The information provided in the fact sheets below provides some basic information for both the students travelling to Schoolies’ destinations nationally and overseas, as well as for their parents. It is extremely important that young people travelling to Schoolies know as much as possible about what to expect. It is also vital that parents talk to their teens about the possible risks they may encounter and what to do if something goes wrong, particularly if they are travelling to a foreign country.

The following checklists have been provided to assist both parents and students to prepare for Schoolies, as well as ensuring that families are able to have positive conversations about safety in the lead-up to the event.

Schoolies’ Week: Checklist for Parents

Schoolies’ Week: Checklist for Students

Looking for information or support services on alcohol or drugs?

If you or a friend or family member needs assistance in this area, Alcohol and Drug Information Services (ADIS) are available in every state and territory. Each of these are each staffed by trained professionals who can help with your query and provide confidential advice or refer you to an appropriate service in your area.

Scroll to Top