Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Parents Influence Teens’ Views on Drugs, Alcohol

Think your kids aren’t listening to you when you warn them about the dangers of smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use? New data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that even though one in five parents (22.3 percent) think their teenager tunes them out, moms and dads play influential roles in shaping their child’s views on substance abuse.

SAMHSA conducted a nationwide survey of 67,500 Americans aged 12 or older and found that one in 10 parents did not broach the subject of drug and alcohol abuse with their teenager this past year, even though 67.7 percent of these parents said they think it would keep their child from using drugs. They’re right, says SAMHSA.

“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,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde in a news release Friday. “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,” she added.

The message for parents is clear: “Talk. They Hear You.”

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