DFK Resources for Parents

Informative resources to help you act effectively to prevent the risks related to substance use by your child

Consult our resources to learn more about the substances your kids might be exposed to – and engage in meaningful conversations about substance use with your children.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada in the translation of our resources for parents.
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Dextromethorphan (DXM) – Let’s talk about it.

Dextromethorphan (DXM)  is a drug used to treat coughs and it is contained in more than 70 over-the-counter drugs (OTC). It is accessible in pharmacies, but that does not mean that it’s harmless. The effects of the recreational use of DXM can be quite harmful.

This guide, produced by Doctor of Pharmacy students at the University of Montréal with the participation of the Drug Free Kids Canada team, contains evidence-based information about Dextromethorphan, its effects, and offers tools to help parents have a conversation with their kids.

Download the Dextromethorphan, Let’s talk about it here

This informative guide is a doctoral project and the Pharmacy students would greatly appreciate your feedback!  Please fill out this short survey. 

Mind your medications – Infographic

The challenges of COVID 19 have overshadowed the fact that the opioid crisis continues to grow, with increased instances of problematic drug use, overdoses, and accidental poisonings reported across the country.  One in two Canadian homes contains medications that can be dangerous if taken non-medically, and most are not secured safely.

Learn more about how to protect your kids by keeping all prescription and OTC medications secure in your home and have age-appropriate conversations about medicines with your children. 

Download the Mind Your Medications Infographic here    


Support yourself and your family during COVID19 – Infographic

As this pandemic persists, people continue to deal with so much – we are all facing the stress and anxiety of uncertainty. Parents need to be mindful that they could be using substances as a way of coping with stress, and as a consequence, their kids may think substance use is an appropriate way to deal with uncomfortable feelings.

It’s more important than ever for you and your family to find ways to stay well, stay calm, and stay mentally healthy.

Download the Substance use during COVID19 Infographic here.    


Let’s Talk Opioids, including Fentanyl – A parent’s guide to understanding opioid use by youth 

The opioid crisis in our country has impacted countless families. In the present complex landscape of youth and substance use, we all have much to learn.

This resource will provide you with the knowledge and strategies to help you prevent your child from using opioids problematically, spot problematic use by recognizing the signs and symptoms, and take action effectively to prevent an accidental overdose.

If your son or daughter is already using opioids problematically, this resource suggests several steps you can take to help protect them from harm.

  Download the Let’s Talk Opioids, including Fentanyl PDF here.   


Cannabis Products, including Edibles 

Your child may express some curiosity about cannabis products – that does not mean they intend to use them.  It’s natural for youth to be curious about a substance that is frequently in the media and they may have questions about using cannabis.

This resource can inform and prepare you to speak with your kids about cannabis edibles, extracts, and topicals

Download the Cannabis Products, including Edibles PDF here. 


Cannabis – Ingestion vs Inhalation – what happens in the body? 

This one-page insert has additional information about cannabis edibles and is designed to accompany the Cannabis Talk Kit.

 Download the Cannabis insert here. 


Youth and Vaping

It’s important for parents to know that vaping’s popularity among youth has grown significantly – and there is a lot of concern that this increase may have a negative impact on the overall health of young people.

Understanding the potential health effects will help you engage in meaningful conversations with your child.

Download the Youth and Vaping PDF here.  


Youth and Alcohol 

“ Canadians are unfortunately not paying enough attention to the harms of alcohol.” – Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer, 2018

Underage drinking is very common in Canada.  Learn more about the substance most young Canadians will try first, and get some practical suggestions on how to begin meaningful conversations with your pre-teen or teen about alcohol use.  

Download the Youth and Alcohol PDF here.   


Drug Guide for Parents

A comprehensive guide to the substances your child may be hearing about.

Download the Drug Guide for Parents here



Additional resources you may find helpful:

APT Parents

An e-training module offered by the Addiction Prevention Centre, this free online e-training module is aimed at parents of teenagers to better equip them to act effectively and prevent the risks related to adolescent alcohol, marijuana and drug use. The program includes four interactive vignettes in which parents must interact with members of a fictitious family to resolve drug-use related issues.

APT Parents is available thanks to the support of the Fondation Jean Lapointe