Teen drug use on the rise – are parents to blame?By Child Safety Specialist May 5, 2011 | 10:50:00 AMPosted in: Child Safety
This month, Partnership at Drugfree.org released findings from a new study that showed the use of marijuana and ecstasy among teens is on the rise after years of declining use. According to the study, teen drinking remains a problem and seems to be less of a concern among teens. One in four teens in the survey admitted to having their first alcoholic drink by age 12. Forty-five percent of teens said they didn't think daily heavy drinking was a great risk, and only 31 percent said they strongly disapprove of teen drunkenness.
So what’s the deal? The CEO and President of Partnership at Drugfree.org, Steve Pasierb, points to government budget cuts that have eliminated drug education and prevention programs. I’m sure that’s part of the problem. After all, a majority of kids were getting the anti-drug and alcohol messages from schools and other community groups. But what about parents? Has something changed at home or were teens never getting the message from their parents in the first place?
According to a report released last summer, based on data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, of the 158,000 teens questioned, over half were underage drinkers and one in 16 had received the alcohol from their parents. Whether it’s to seem cool in their kid’s eyes, complacency over the actual dangers of alcohol use or just bad parenting, kids are not getting the message from their parents to not drink or take drugs. And turning a blind-eye to underage drinking that’s occurring at a party in their home is just as bad and can land a parent behind bars.
It’s time for parents to wake up to this issue and take charge:
Talk to your kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Statistics have shown that open communication between parents and teens can help reduce the rate of alcohol and drug use among kids
Be vigilant. It’s up to you to be the parent and set ground rules regarding curfews and places where your teen is allowed to go. Get to know your child’s friends as well as the friends’ parents and understand their rules on drinking and drugs. Be clear on the rule of no alcohol at parties, either at your home or someone else’s home. Consider installing a home monitoring system with cameras and sensors so you know what’s going on when you’re not at home.
Notice potential signs of drug and alcohol use. Be aware of changes in your teen’s behavior such as changes in appetite or mood swings that could signal a drug or alcohol problem. If this is the case, get help from a therapist immediately.
Do You Know Where Your Teen is Online
Should You Spy on Your Kids
How to be Sure Your Tween/Teen is Safe When Babysitting
*Content expressed in Home Security Source does not represent the thoughts and opinions of ADT unless explicitly indicated. Bloggers featured on HomeSecuritySource.com are professionals compensated by ADT. Please visit our Community Guidelines page for additional details.