Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

National Study Finds Parents a Big Factor in Teens Drinking, Drug Abuse

Parents be warned: It might not seem like your words and actions have any impact on your teenage child, but they do, at least according to a newest annual survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA).

The report found that teens are influenced by their parents' behavior and attitudes. For instance, according to the study, teens who have seen at least one of their parents drunk are more than twice as likely to get drunk in a typical month (and three times as likely to use marijuana and smoke cigarettes) as their peers who haven't seen a parent intoxicated.

The CASA report also found that teens who believe their father is OK with their drinking are two and a half times more likely to get drunk in a typical month as teens who believe that their dad opposes their drinking.

Elizabeth Planet, CASA vice president and director of special projects, said the center wanted more insight into how parental attitudes and behavior affect teen substance use and abuse.

"This is the first time we've asked about parental behaviors," Planet said. "Parents need to understand why some kids use and some don't and what they can do about it."

In other results, the CASA study showed that kids who drink at least once a month get drunk at least once a month, and that those who get drunk at least once a month are 18 times likelier to use marijuana and likelier to associate with teens who abuse other illegal and prescription drugs.

CASA also reports that more than one-third (8.7 million) of teens can get prescription drugs within a day and nearly one in five (4.7 million) can get them within an hour.

Parents are also a factor in this speedy prescription drug procurement, Planet said, as the majority of teens are getting these drugs from home. "The medicine cabinet remains a big source" for prescription drugs, she said.

Planet said the survey's biggest message is that parents need to clearly state, and back up, their disapproval about alcohol and drug abuse.

Source: Connecticut Post

To read the entire CASA report, click the following link:

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