Kids, Drugs and Booze: Survival Strategies for Parents


206 pages
ISBN 0-7715-9228-0
DDC 362.2'9'0971





Reviewed by Claude A. Guldner

Claude Guldner is Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Centre at
the University of Guelph.


This is a very important book both for parents of teens and for
professionals who may work with them. The book’s format is one that
every self-help book should follow. Each chapter comprises two clear
sections: content, then action guides. The book has many checklists,
charts, forms to facilitate action, and other tables to assist the
reader. The use of case studies enables the reader to identify with many
of the issues and to imagine implementing the action guides with their
own children.

For the most part this book is designed to help parents in undertaking
action with their kids to help them get off or stay off booze and drugs.
It does not get lost in theory, nor does it preach. It is practical and
direct. It is a book well worth reading for every parent: many of its
suggestions and action guides can be modified for use with other kinds
of acting out on the part of teens. The last third of the book is
devoted to resources across Canada for getting help if kids are into
booze or drugs. The authors discuss what kinds of help are available to
parents and give tips for being a wise consumer.

Perhaps one of the best chapters is the one focused on enabling parents
to reclaim their own lives. This is often very difficult for parents,
yet the authors present very convincing arguments as to why this is
important. If parents don’t keep balance and avoid excessive stress,
they cannot help their kids.

Another important element of this book is that it avoids putting the
primary blame onto the parents or family. It presents a wider contextual
framework for understanding why kids use drugs and booze. When this
problem is present in a family, coping with it is never easy, but this
book will give parents a lot to think about and provide clear steps to


Moynihan, Sheila., “Kids, Drugs and Booze: Survival Strategies for Parents,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,