A recent SAMHSA study confirms that kids are many times less likely to use drugs when they know that their parents would disapprove of that behavior. Put another way, in terms of marijuana use alone, kids are 6 times more likely to use pot simply because of a parental attitude of indifference towards marijuana use. Given the huge difference in outcomes, is there any other drug education program that can achieve this kind of result? Of course not. Parents are on the front lines of prevention and need to understand that their attitudes about drug use are a key factor in decisions made by their children.
I am often approached by concerned parents who are desperately
seeking the solution to keeping their kids drug-free in a drug-filled world. The
answer is always the same: love your kids enough to take a strong stand against
drug use, communicate your values consistently and regularly to your children,
surround your children with other caring adults and youth who possess similar
values, and live the way you teach. Does parental involvement guarantee
that a child will not be influenced by a culture that is awash in drug
propaganda? No, but it will give that child the best chance for a drug-free
life. - US Attorney (Ret.) Monte Stiles, Esq. - Idaho
Md., May 26, 2013 (UPI) -- More than 1-in-5 parents say they have little influence in
preventing teens from using illicit substances, but surveys prove them wrong, a
U.S. agency says.
A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration found 22 percent of U.S parents of children ages 12-17
said they had little influence on whether or not their child uses illicit
substances, tobacco or alcohol.
The annual survey involved 67,500
Americans age 12 or older.
Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of SAMHSA, said
national surveys of youths 12-17 show those who believe their parents would
strongly disapprove of their substance use were less likely to use substances.
For example, 5 percent of current marijuana users said their parents would
strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice versus 31.5 percent
of current marijuana who did not perceive this level of parental
"Surveys of teens repeatedly show that parents can make an
enormous difference in influencing their children's perceptions of tobacco,
alcohol, or illicit drug use," Hyde said in a statement. "Although most parents
are talking with their teens about the risks of tobacco, alcohol and other
drugs, far too many are missing the vital opportunity these conversations
provide in influencing their children's health and well-being. Parents need to
initiate age-appropriate conversations about these issues with their children at
all stages of their development in order to help ensure that their children make
the right decisions."
The report, "1 in 5 Parents Think What They Say Has Little Impact on Their Child's Substance Use," is linked here for your consideration.