More than one in five parents believe they have little influence in preventing teens from using illicit substances

May 27, 2013, SAMHSA

A new report indicates that more than one in five parents of teens aged 12 to 17 (22.3 percent) think what they say has little influence on whether or not their child uses illicit substances, tobacco, or alcohol. This report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also shows one in ten parents said they did not talk to their teens about the dangers of using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs even though 67.6 percent of these parents who had not spoken to their children thought they would influence whether their child uses drugs if they spoke to them.

In fact national surveys of teens ages 12 to 17 show that teens who believe their parents would strongly disapprove of their were less likely to use substances than other. For example, current marijuana use was less prevalent among youth who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying once or twice than among youth who did not perceive this level of disapproval (5.0 percent vs. 31.5 percent).

"Surveys of teens repeatedly show that parents can make an enormous difference in influencing their children's perceptions of tobacco, alcohol, or ," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. "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."

Parents can draw upon a number of resources to help them talk with their children about substance use. One resource is SAMHSA's "Navigating the Teen Years: A Parent's Handbook for Raising Healthy Teens," available at store.samhsa.gov/product/Navig … Health-Teens/PHD1127.

"Talk. They Hear You." is SAMHSA's new national media campaign encouraging parents with ideas and resources to promote conversations with children ages nine and older about the dangers of underage drinking. The campaign features a series of TV, radio, and print public service announcements in English and Spanish showing parents how to seize the moment to talk with their children about alcohol. Information about the campaign is available at: www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov.

The SAMHSA report, "1 in 5 Parents Think What They Say Has Little Impact on Their Child's Substance Use," is available at www.samhsa.gov/data/2K13/Spotl … /Spot081-Parents.pdf. It is based on the findings of SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health—an annual nationwide survey of 67,500 Americans aged 12 or older.

Explore further: Pregnancy adds challenge for teens treated for drug abuse, report says

Related Stories

Pregnancy adds challenge for teens treated for drug abuse, report says

May 9, 2013
(HealthDay)—Half of pregnant teens in substance-abuse treatment programs used alcohol or drugs in the month before they entered treatment. And nearly 20 percent used drugs or alcohol on a daily basis during that month, ...

Parents talking about their own drug use to children could be detrimental

February 22, 2013
Parents know that one day they will have to talk to their children about drug use. The hardest part is to decide whether or not talking about ones own drug use will be useful in communicating an antidrug message. Recent research, ...

Pre-college talk between parents and teens likely to lessen college drinking

March 19, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Teen-age college students are significantly more likely to abstain from drinking or to drink only minimally when their parents talk to them before they start college, using suggestions in a parent handbook ...

Summer is peak time for teens to try drugs, alcohol: report

July 3, 2012
(HealthDay) -- More teenagers start drinking and smoking cigarettes and marijuana in June and July than in any other months, U.S. health officials say.

People with mental illness make up large share of US smokers

March 20, 2013
(HealthDay)—Adults with a mental illness or a substance-abuse disorder represent about 25 percent of the U.S. population but account for nearly 40 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the country, according to a new study.

One in ten teens using 'study drugs,' but parents aren't paying attention

May 20, 2013
As high schoolers prepare for final exams, teens nationwide may be tempted to use a "study drug"—a prescription stimulant or amphetamine—to gain an academic edge. But a new University of Michigan poll shows only one in ...

Recommended for you

Cannabinoids are easier on the brain than booze, study finds

February 9, 2018
Marijuana may not be as damaging to the brain as previously thought, according to new research from the University of Colorado Boulder and the CU Change Lab.

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

December 4, 2017
Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

For opiate addiction, study finds drug-assisted treatment is more effective than detox

November 23, 2017
Say you're a publicly insured Californian with an addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription narcotics, and you want to quit.

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.