Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kids Smarter Than Parents About Drugs

Parents tend to be clueless about teen alcohol and drug use, and frequently allow drinking and drug use at parties they chaperone, says a survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.
  • One-third of teens and nearly half of 17-year olds attend house parties where parents are present and teens are drinking, smoking marijuana or using cocaine, Ecstasy or prescription drugs.
  • 80 percent of parents believe that neither alcohol nor marijuana is usually available at parties their teens attend. BUT 50 percent of teen partygoers attend parties where alcohol, drugs or both are available.
  • 98 percent of parents say they are normally present during parties they allow their teens to have at home. BUT a third of teen partygoers report that parents are rarely or never present at the parties they attend.
  • More teens name drug use as their number one concern than any other issue (27 per cent). Fewer than half of their parents (12 per cent) identify drugs as teens' top concern.
Joe Califano, the chairman of CASA, concludes that “Teen drinking and drugging is a parent problem. Too many parents fail to fulfill their responsibility to chaperone their kids’ parties." Source. True ... but let's give credit where it's due. Despite the "denial, self-delusion and lack of awareness of these parental palookas" (Califano's phrase), the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs among kids is declining. Source.

Bottom line: Kids today look smarter about tobacco, alcohol and drugs than their parents.

The full CASA survey report is available here.

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