Only about one in 10 parents of teenagers think their child drank alcohol within the last year. And only one in 20 thought their child smoked pot.
But it appears that most parents have their heads in the sand. According to the University of Michigan's Children's Hospital, 52% of 10th graders reported drinking alcohol in the past 12 months, while 28% of 10th graders smoked pot
Researcher Bernard Biermann says "Awareness is a means of opening the door to communication,"
"If parents acknowledge the possibility—and in fact, the likelihood—that their child may have experimented with alcohol or marijuana, they can begin to talk to them more about it, provide some guidance, and allow their kids to ask questions."
By the way, more people in the US die now from drug abuse than from traffic accidents.
While preventable deaths have been going down in most categories, deaths due to drugs have doubled over the last 10 years, with over 37,000 people dying from drug use in 2009 alone.
Some of the biggest culprits are no longer illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine, but prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax.
So mom and dad—if you aren’t regularly talking to your kids about the dangers of drug abuse, take the time and make the effort. A great resource is Columbia University’s Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse. Their website is www.casacolumbia.org.
I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free, WBCL.