Making the Link: How to approach conversations with teenagers

A mother has an open dicussion with her son.
Targeted Drugs: , ,

This resource has undergone expert review.






This video series is available on YouTube

Watch 'Making the Link' series


National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC); Smoke Signals.


This video series explores ways of approaching conversations with teens that motivate them to make changes to their drug use. Jason has been using cannabis and his mother is concerned. The first three videos demonstrate how she uses a non-confrontational approach to talk through the repercussions of Jason’s cannabis use, and encourages him to seek help. The final video demonstrates how a confrontational style can elicit a defensive response from teens and result in a “missed opportunity” to have a productive conversation about change.

Expected Benefits

  • Demonstrates a motivating, non-confrontational approach for talking with teens about drug use.

Evidence Base

Expert Review*:

This video series was developed specifically for parents wondering how to have useful conversations with their teens about drug use. The videos demonstrate how to approach these conversations using a "motivational interviewing" style. There is general evidence that this style of conversation clarifies and enhances a person's intrinsic reasons and motivates behavioural change. The videos provide a useful and accessible demonstration of this evidence-based approach to conversations. We encourage parents to use these resources in combination with more detailed parenting programs or guidelines (see related resources), and make use of national phone services to obtain additional support and advice (see Where to get help). 

*Review provided by researchers at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney.

Page last reviewed: 24/07/2024

Something missing?

Looking for information that isn’t provided here?

Make a suggestion for this website

Need immediate support for
you or someone you know?

Get help and support now