A national study that analyzes parental attitudes and behaviors towards teen drug use is reporting a 12% decrease in “frequent discussions,” defined as 4 or more, about drug and alcohol abuse between parents and teens.
The 2006 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, showed that only about half (54%) of parents reported talking to their kids about the use of drugs like heroin, cocaine and crack with their kids. A mere 36% of parents said they have had conversations about the abuse of prescription medications, and 33% said they have discussed the abuse of over the counter (OTC) cough and cold medications with their kids.
The study also found a misperception among many of the parents that the abuse of prescription and OTC medications is safer than the use of illegal drugs. “Our teen data tell us that nearly 1 in 5 kids, or 4.5 million teens, has abused an Rx medication without a doctor’s prescription to either get high or because they believe these medications might help mitigate stress or depression,” said president and CEO of the Partnership, Steve Pasierb. “Educating parents about the signs of abuse and how to best start the conversation with their kids about the risks associated with abusing prescription and over-the-counter medicines is a necessity.”
In response to the study’s findings, the Partnership launched the website TimeToTalk.org, along with a multi-media public service campaign to raise awareness of the site. TimeToTalk.org offers parents “manageable resources to help them feel empowered to speak with their kids about living healthy lives and to motivate constant communication among family members.”
It’s worth a visit.
Read the Partnership’s press release about the study: 19th Annual National Study Finds Significant Decrease in Parent/Teen Discussions About Drugs and Alcohol
Read about the study’s key findings: KEY FINDINGS OF 19th ANNUAL: PARTNERSHIP ATTITUDE TRACKING STUDY
Read the Partnership’s press release about the Time to Talk launch: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America Launches Time To Talk Encouraging and Supporting Parent/Child Communication