Cause for Concern
Monday, March 08, 2010
After a decade of consistent declines in teen drug abuse, a new national study just released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America® and MetLife Foundation points to marked upswings in use of drugs that teens are likely to encounter at parties and in other social situations.
According to the 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), sponsored by MetLife Foundation, the number of teens in grades 9-12 that used alcohol in the past month has grown by 11 percent (from 35 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2009), past year Ecstasy use shows a 67 percent increase (from 6 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2009) and past year marijuana use shows a 19 percent increase (from 32 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2009).
These are scary stats and scary times for our children. The good news is that there are resources available to help parents take action and safeguard our children. Step-by-step advice and sympathetic guidance from substance abuse experts, family therapists, scientists and fellow parents to help guide families through the process of understanding drug and alcohol use, confronting a child, setting boundaries, and seeking outside help is available on DrugFree.org.
Research shows that kids in grades 7-12 who learn a lot about the dangers of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to ever use. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America encourages parents to have frequent ongoing conversations with their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and take early action if they think their child is using or might have a problem. To learn how to start the conversation, click here.