Tips for talking to kids about addiction (from Pyramid Healthcare):
Be age appropriate. Be mindful of how much detail and information you provide about substance abuse. Keep it simple and answer questions as they are asked.
Acknowledge his or her pain. If the child has been through tough experiences because of addiction, validate this pain. Remind him or her that the person who may have hurt them because of addiction may still care about them very much.
Relieve their shame. Remind him or her that they didn't cause the addiction and aren't responsible for curing it.
Start with your own learning. Try to make sure you have basic answers and leave room to learn more if you need it. Don't be afraid to ask for time to answer.
End with a hopeful message. If a child has been affected by substance abuse or addiction, explain that there is help available to get better and/or reassure him or her that you are always available to talk more.
Check out these titles to help you start a healthy conversation.