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CASA* Report Finds Teens Who Have Infrequent Family Dinners Likelier to Drink, Smoke, Use Marijuana
Date:9/22/2009

ind parents that frequent family dinners make a difference. Celebrated on the fourth Monday in September--the 28th in 2009-- Family Day promotes parental engagement as a simple and effective way to reduce children's risk of smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. What began as a small grassroots initiative has grown to become a nationwide celebration, which is expected to once again be proclaimed and supported by the President and all 50 U.S. Governors.

More than 289 local non-profit groups including schools, community based groups and substance abuse prevention programs and 22 national non-profit organizations are celebrating and promoting Family Day 2009. This year CASA expects more than 1000 cities and counties to proclaim and support Family Day--more than double the amount in 2005. 2008 marked the first time six Major League Baseball teams celebrated Family Day by promoting the day at their stadiums and the first time two state First Ladies served in the role of Honorary Chair. In 2009 the initiative has increased significantly with 12 state First Ladies agreeing to serve as Honorary Chairs and 10 Major League Baseball teams promoting Family Day in their stadiums.

"Of course there are no silver bullets; teen substance abuse can strike any family. But with everyone living such busy lives these days, the family dinner becomes an important tool to raising drug-free children because gathering around the table as a family shows kids just how much their parents care about them and sends a message that their parents are there for them," noted Califano whose new book How to Raise a Drug Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents was published in August by Simon & Schuster's Touchstone/Fireside Division and includes a chapter on how family dinners make a difference in children's lives.

QEV Analytics conducted The National Survey of American Attitudes on
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SOURCE The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University
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