Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Teenage Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug Use

According to the U.S. Department of Education, parents can encourage dialogue about drug and alcohol use with their children, starting at a very young age. In fact, many parents may find it easier to communicate with their children if they start when the children are young.

It's also important to remember that talking about drugs means talking about tobacco and alcohol. They are often called gateway drugs because according to theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) they can lead to other drugs. AAP points to the following:

  • Alcohol and tobacco are usually the first drugs that young people try.
  • High school seniors who smoke every day are 10 times more likely to use cocaine regularly than are seniors who don't smoke on a regular basis.
  • Adolescents who drink heavily or who "binge drink" are more likely to use other drugs than non-drinkers or moderate drinkers.

Work and other responsibilities may make it difficult for parents to spend as much time as they want with their children. But by establishing good patterns and solid communication skills early on, parents can hopefully maintain a positive and healthy influence on their children throughout their lives.

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