Drugs and Alcohol: Not My KidBy LISA BELKIN
Not my children.
Only 10 percent of parents nationwide believe their teenagers have used alcohol in the last year, and half that percentage believe their teenagers have used marijuana. Yet when the National Institutes of Health polled teenagers recently, more than half (52 percent) admitted to drinking, and nearly a third (28 percent) said they have smoked pot.
Those same parents overestimate what other teenagers are doing, guessing that 60 percent are probably using alcohol and 40 percent are using marijuana.
And what about your teenagers? How about their friends?
The report, released today, includes advice for parents:
1. Talk to your teenager about substance use in a non-threatening way.
2. Carefully monitor teenagers when they come home and look for signs of substance use.
3. Try not to overreact to a single instance of substance use. Instead, use the opportunity to talk to your teenager in a non-judgmental way and be available as a resource for resisting peer pressure.
4. Talk with your teenager’s friends and talk with other parents. Sometimes others will share information that your own child won’t.
5. Read information from resources such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse to become educated about common signs and symptoms of substance abuse.
And it suggests resources for more information, such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the University of Michigan Health Library—Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
But mostly it includes the message that it quite likely is your kid.