Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Preventing Teen drinking

FROM NBC: A new survey out today shows just how important parents can be in the fight to keep teens away from drugs and alcohol. The study suggests teens are much more likely to drink, use drugs and smoke if they've seen a parent drunk. Brian Mooar has the story in tonight's medical minute.

More than a third of America's teenagers have seen one or both of their parents drunk and that makes children twice as likely to get drunk themselves. That's the troubling finding of a new survey released today in Washington.
Joseph Califano / Natl. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia Univ."No one has greater power to influence a teen's decision whether to smoke, drink or use drugs than that teen's mother and father."

The survey by Columbia University's Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse also demonstrates that parental involvement can put the brakes on abuse. Joseph Califano / Natl. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University:"We know that a child who gets to age 21 without smoking, using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so for the rest of their life."

Responses from a thousand teens and nearly five hundred parents suggest then availability of marijuana is up sharply. Two thirds of high school students say drugs are readily available at school. But the real threat may be in your home medicine cabinet. Elizabeth Planet, Natl. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University "We were surprised to find how readily available prescription drugs are to American teens.

One in five – which translates to almost five million twelve to seventeen year olds can get their hands on prescription drugs. This Massachusetts mom wants her kids to have a good head start. Faith Dewsnap, Weymouth, Mass / Kids 8 and 11 "Once they're out the door they are in others peoples influence so I do what I can at home, but I know they are going to be influenced by their friends, so I do what I can." A message to all parents — teach by example. The study says if parents don't think marijuana is a big deal ... The teen is twice as likely to use it.

I will keep that 21-years-old time frame in mind. If your child makes it to that age without having serious alcohol/drug abuse issues, you may be home free. I have had a wine cooler or glass of wine in front of my kids before. I never really thought about it. It probably isn't the best idea. Do you ever have a drink in front of your kids?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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