Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Parents Unaware of Children’s Drug Habits

Most teenagers would never confide to their parents about what kind of substances they are using. Sometimes, parents can assume that as their little kids grow older, they are bound to try certain drugs and, of course, alcohol. A study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis tried to distinguish how accurate parents are when guessing how much their child is involved with drug and alcohol use.
The study involved 591 parent and child duos that were asked about the teen’s drug habits. Alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana were the three most prevalent substances in adolescents at 54%, 44%, and 23% respectively. The parents were very naïve about their children doing drugs or drinking alcohol. They only reported use about 50% of the time for all three substances.
However, the older the child was, the more the parent was aware of these three substances being used by that child. This study shows that children, at a young age, are starting to delve into the experimental drug use, which can lead to substance abuse or dependency later on in life. Parents should try to become more involved in their child’s life outside of home and encourage them to stay away from drugs. If parents never teach their children about substance abuse, the teenagers can move from these three ‘soft’ drugs to harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin.


nicolette said...

Yes, it is likely that if parents talk to their children about the danger of drug use, then the probability that the child will say, “No” will be greater. But, maybe the issue is not fully dependent on the parental role; we live in a fast pace, high-tech society that suggests fast answers and easy solutions. Those conversations are difficult and parents cannot “Ask Jeeves” for a step-by-step guide to ensuring their child does not use drugs. The answer, I believe, does not rest in “how to have a talk with your kid so that they never get high,” but rather understanding of the complexity of human relationships. Looking at the situation through economist lenses, it is acknowledging that everyone, son, daughter, father, or mother, is after satisfying number one, themselves.

Rikki said...

I agree, I think that a child will be more aware of drugs if the parents talk to the children; not just one time but they need to talk to their children several times to remind them how harmful drugs are not only in the present but in the future down the road. I know that our society plays a big role in what our children do when the parents are not around, but if they are shown different activities to participate in, instead of doing drugs, then i think that they are less likely to partake in drugs.