If you think your teen is already using, you will have to approach the subject differently and might also need professional help. However, if you simply want to approach your teen to educate him/her about the pitfalls of drug use, pick a suitable time, when your teen is home and is not tired or stressed from school work etc.
You can start the talk casually, inquiring about the latest happenings in your teen’s life and what his/her friends are up to. You can then either relate a story, or bring up a recent incident related to the matter you want to discuss. For instance, in this case, you can start by saying that you read about a celebrity or famous person died from drug overdose. You can then see where your teen takes the discussion and you can also take his/her opinion on drug use.
A good idea is to admit that drug use might be tempting, especially given how teens like to experiment and have to deal with peer pressure. If you don’t admit this, your teen might feel apprehensive opening up with you.
You should also talk about your own teen years and talk about how you handled such issues and dealt with these temptations. Even if you had a slump, you can tell your kids about it and how you subsequently recovered. You can also tell them how it all looked a few years down the road and the things you felt and realized later on in life.
If you have not already done so, research some material on the internet and take a print out perhaps, detailing all the side effects of using drugs. You can show this to your kid and talk about how drugs will affect his/her health, academics and mental abilities.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to go easy with your kids and not pressurize them. Your goal should be to keep an open line with them so that even if they do experiment with drugs or face a situation where drugs are presented to them, they can feel safe in discussing it with you.