Parents worry they can't stop kids from substance abuse: Study

A new study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finds that around 22.3 percent parents believe that they have very little influence over their kid's substance abuse problems.

Of the many lifestyle-related disorders occurring today, substance abuse in particular has been showing a steep rise in numbers, especially among children. For such children, proper guidance can prove to be much more beneficial than any other interventional methods.

The new study, however, sheds light on the plight of many parents whose children are either alcohol- or drug-addicts.

This study, which took into account the parents of children between the ages 12 and 17 years old, also revealed that 1 in around 10 parents, did not consider talking to their children regarding their substance abuse.

Furthermore, it was also revealed that 67.7 percent parents who did not talk to their children regarding these issues believed that their children would listen to their advice, if they did give them.

"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," SAMHSA's administrator, Pamela S. Hyde said. "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 conservations provide in influencing their children's health and well-being."

This particular study revealed yet another surprising fact - children who believed that their parents would not approve of their drug or alcohol abuse were much less likely to get indulged in these substances. Only 5 percent of children who believed that their parents would disapprove of them smoking marijuana actually did that, as opposed to the 31.5 percent who did not believe that their parents would disapprove of them smoking marijuana.

"Any time is a good time to talk to your kids when you have a chance," Peter Delany, the SAMHSA's director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, said. "But if you haven't started talking to your kids, before school gets out is an especially good time. In the summer months, especially around holiday weekends, kids are more likely to get involved with substances."

The report, compiled from the SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, is composed of data obtained from 67,700 American residents and is available online. Hopefully, such studies may help build a better relationship and improve communication between parents and their kids.

"Parents need to initiate age-appropriate conversations about these issues with their children at all stages of their development in order to help ensure that their children make the right decisions," Hyde explained.

So if you're worried about your kid falling into the wrong habits, don't just sit there and fret; talk it out, now that you know it actually helps.

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