Not All Parents Think They Can Influence Teen Drug Use

Not All Parents Think They Can Influence Teen Drug Use
Not All Parents Think They Can Influence Teen Drug Use

(HealthDay News) – Although >90% of parents of teenagers report talking to their children about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, more than one in five believe that what they say will have little influence on whether their child uses drugs, according to a report published by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Researchers from SAMHSA analyzed findings from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health from 2004–2005, 2006–2010, and 2011 to examine parents' perceptions of their role in preventing substance use.

According to the report, 22.3% of parents of 12- to 17-year-olds felt that what they said would have little impact on whether their child used drugs. A total of 9.1% reported not having spoken to their children about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use in the previous year. However, most (67.7%) of those who had not talked to their child still felt that what they said would impact whether their child used drugs.

"Surveys of teens repeatedly show that parents can make an enormous difference in influencing their children's perceptions of tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drug use," Pamela S. Hyde, JD, a SAMHSA administrator, said in a statement. "Although most parents are talking with their teens about the risks of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, far too many are missing the vital opportunity these conversations provide in influencing their children's health and well-being."

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