How do I ask? | Patient & Family

Then what do I do with the patient & family?

•   Before bringing the parent back into the room ask the patient,

“What part (if any) of what we talked about do you not want me to share with your [mother/father/guardian/family]?”

“So you’re OK with my mentioning the vaping, but not the marijuana use. You also don’t want me to talk about the couple of times you experimented with [blank].

“I can do that/stick to that… but just remember that if I begin to hear about increasing or dangerous use of any of these substances in the future, I may have to break confidentiality for your own safety and health. Does that make sense?”

•   With parent back in the room:

“I’m glad I was able to talk with both of you about the concerns you have about [Blank’s] health.

[Blank] and I discussed his/her/their [blank] use a bit and it’s potential effects on his body and mind. This is an area that you [adult] were worried about, too.

S/He/They has/have decided to think about ways in which s/he can reduce the temptation to use that again in the future. I’d like to see him/her/them again in a few weeks to see how things are going and if there are ways we can support him/her in this effort.

You are welcome to contact me sooner if any concerns come up sooner than that. And just as a reminder, if I should ever have serious concerns about safety for [Blank], I may have to break the confidentiality we discussed earlier.

But otherwise, the one-on-one time I have with [Blank] will be confidential. Do you have any questions about any of this?”


Additional Resources for Parents

To Support Their Teens and Young Adults

Become An Ex

Become An Ex

Tobacco and vaping cessation support for parents and teens from Truth Initiative.

Link to website:

Know The Risks

Know The Risks (Surgeon General)

Includes a conversation guide and video for parents and teens from FDA. Resources provided in Spanish as well.

Link to website:

The Vape Talk

The Vape Talk

Includes a conversation guide for parents and teens from the American Lung Association.

Link to website: