Parental Power Is the Most Underutilized Tool in Combating Substance Abuse

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, (CASA), a national organization that studies substance abuse, recently reported:

"Parents who are parents rather than pals can greatly reduce the risk of their children smoking, drinking and using drugs."

"Teenagers with parents who enforce curfews and monitor their children's TV and music habits are less likely to use drugs."

"Teens with parents who are 'hands-off' and impose no restrictions on them are at four times the risk to smoke, drink or use drugs than teens living in a house with rules."

"The more times a week teens eat dinner with their parents - without the TV on - the less the child's risk of becoming a substance abuser. Youths who do not eat with their parents have double the risk of using drugs than those who eat dinner as a family every night."

"For the 6th straight year, teens reported drugs as the greatest concern facing people their age."

"Chances of teens using drugs more than doubles when they attend a school with drugs in its halls and lockers."

Being the parent of a teen is hard. It means having clear expectations and boundaries, so the kids know where you are coming from and why.

Source: Washington Times, February 22, 2001, edition, "Parental control curbs teen drug use," by Regina Holtman and Cheryl Wetzstein.