How To!

I’m a Recovering Alcoholic. I’m Afraid My Kids Will End Up Like Me.

How to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol at any age.


Episode Notes

Lee is worried that one day soon her 25-year-old adopted daughter, who is pregnant and struggling with a drug addiction, will show up on her doorstep with a baby in tow. How will she be able to explain the situation to her other daughter, who’s only 6 years old? And how can she prepare her for the day she’ll confront drugs and alcohol herself? On this episode of How To!, we bring on Jessica Lahey, a teacher and the author of The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence. As a recovering alcoholic herself—and the mother of two kids—Jess knows firsthand how hard it is to talk to your kids about substance use in an effective way, especially when addiction runs in the family. “If you tell kids drugs and alcohol are just bad, they know we’re hedging or lying because people wouldn’t do drugs and alcohol if they were all bad,” Jess says. “So a very important part of substance use prevention is being really honest and giving kids real information about consequences.”

If you liked this episode, check out: “How To Kick a Meth Habit.”

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John, Rachael Allen, and Rosemary Belson.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley (bestselling author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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