Statement of Steve Pasierb, President
New York, NY (August 19, 2010) – Today the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University announced the results of the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XV: Teens and Parents, their 15th annual back-to-school survey that underscores the critical need for parents to take the first step in drug prevention, communicating the risks of drug and alcohol use to their children.
Teens With Weaker Family Ties More Likely to Try Drugs and Alcohol; Parent Conversations are Key
According to the study, which examined the bond between parents and their teens and sought to assess how these bonds impact the likelihood that a teen will smoke, drink or use illegal drugs, teens with weak family ties (compared with teens in families with strong ties) are four times likelier to try marijuana and almost three times likelier to drink. They are also twice as likely to have a friend or classmate who abuses prescription drugs and twice as likely to have a friend or classmate who uses illegal drugs such as acid, Ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin.
“The CASA study confirms that parents play an effective and essential role in preventing or stopping their child’s drug and alcohol use,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. “We know too from our research that kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs, than those who do not get that message at home.”
“Providing parents with the tools they need to communicate effectively and knowledgeably with their kids is critically important,” continued Pasierb. “Translating science into effective tools is the cornerstone of the Partnership’s work and includes resources like Time To Talk, a national parents initiative offering exactly the kind of family-focused, easy-to-understand help that parents are seeking. At drugfree.org, parents can also access A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain:, our Parent Tool Kit and prevention-focused Decoder blog.”
Pasierb concludes, “In working with our Parent Advisory Board and Science Advisory Board, resources have been developed well beyond prevention to help parents intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children. This includes Time To Act, which offers step-by-step advice and support for parents who suspect or know their child is drinking or using drugs, and new Intervention and Treatment e-books, web-based and downloadable guides that help parents with a child who may be in trouble with drugs and alcohol.”
For more information visit the Partnership’s websites, drugfree.org and TimeToTalk.org.