WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With kids back in school, one author is breaking down the five tough, but necessary, conversation points to have with children about drug awareness.

In David Magee’s new book entitled, “Things Have Changed”, he highlights the challenge facing today’s parents about knowing how to talk to teens over the five tough conversational points that center around addiction and self-medicating. The five points are that:

1.) Pills can kill

2.) Today’s addict can be anybody

3.) Cultivate joy instead of self-medicating

4.) There’s no shame in getting help

5.) Don’t tell kids, conversate

Magee said that having conversations around these topics can lead to more informative discussions.

“Listen, in this in this environment today, I mean, where 70-something percent of students on a college campus may be experimenting or using some type of substance, alcohol, perhaps marijuana, what you want to do [is] have the kids talk with you,” Magee said. “It doesn’t work to have the conversation, ‘don’t do drugs’. We’ve tried the conversation of ‘don’t do drugs.’ It does not work. What you want to do is really educate them in both a life-saving manner and a joint-saving manner.”

Magee adds that while there’s so much parents want to say, kids and teens are naturally going to grow tiresome of being told rules, so he encourages parents have conversations in which kids can talk and ask questions so that parents can advise.

Especially considering that today’s addicts and drug dealers may not look like a stereotypical addict or drug dealer.

“The addict today, because of the array of pills they’re using, doesn’t look like the addict,” Magee said. “It’s not just some disheveled person under a bridge. They are often making straight A’s. They are often showing up full of energy. But you have to look for other signs. Are they dropping the ball in a whole lot of areas and casting a lot of blame?”

Magee adds that parents can be vigilant through open-ended questions in conversations with kids and he also acknowledges that for people who are struggling, there’s no shame in getting help.

“Things Have Changed: What Every Parent (and Educator) Should Know About the Student Mental Health and Substance Misuse Crisis” is now available on Amazon for $22.