Raising Kids To Be Drug-Free
I've been involved in a series with CASA Columbia to educate parents on factors that influence drug use in teens. The more you know, the better chance you have of helping your teen avoid getting caught up in drug abuse. I have a friend who has struggled with addiction for more than 10 years. She told her mom that she was hooked from the very first time she tried drugs. Unfortunately, she has not yet been able to overcome the addiction.
Thankfully, organizations like CASA Columbia is studying the reasons teens use, experiment, and abuse drugs. Hopefully, in learning what they find, we can give our kids the tools they need to stay clean.
For the last 16 years, CASA Columbia survey's teens to find links between teen behavior and drug use. The latest survey, released today, asked teens about their use of social networking sites.
According to CASA Columbia's National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVI: Teens and Parents
- 70% of teens (between ages 12-17) use social networks such as Myspace and Facebook.
- Teens who use social networking sites are
- 5 times more likely to use Tobacco, than teens who do not visit social networking sites.
- 3 Times more likely to use Alcohol, than teens who do not visit social networking sites.
- Twice as likely to use marijuana, than teens who do not visit social networking sites.
- 87% of parents do not believe time spent on social networking sites affects whether their child will abuse drugs or not.
- For the fifth straight year, more than 60 percent of high school students say they attend schools where drugs are used, kept or sold on school grounds.
- Forty-two percent of 12- to 17-year olds report knowing at least one friend or classmate who uses illegal drugs, like acid, ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin, a 24 percent increase since 2007.
To read the full report, go here. Also check out the left side bar for past Survey results.
As a person who spends a lot of time on social networking sites, I do find this alarming. Luckily, my 12 year old, has not yet asked for a Facebook account, but I consider it's only a matter of time before he becomes interested in that. I think the thing to remember is to set limits, and monitor your teen's use of not only social networking sites, but internet usage altogether. Always make sure computer use is in a public place in your house. Most of all, get outside and make sure your teens are interacting in the real world more than their online worlds.
We know from the research conducted by CASA Columbia, that eating dinner as a family reduces the risk of teens using drugs or alcohol. Join us Sept 26th for National Family Day--A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™. Begin the conversation about your standards regarding drug use and the hope you have for your teen to stay clean.