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Youth Drug Use at a Five Year Low, New Survey Shows
Date:9/6/2007

With prescription drug abuse, we're confronting a different kind of drug threat-one that lurks not in dark alleys, but in medicine cabinets within our homes. Parents have been vital to reducing teen use of street drugs, and now they must engage to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs."

The Office of National Drug Control Policy conducts the Nation's most visible effort to prevent teen drug use through the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. Collaborating with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Campaign targets youth, particularly those aged 14-16. It also reaches parents, encouraging them to talk to their teens about drugs and monitor their behaviors, actions shown to reduce drug use.

The NSDUH 2006 study reaffirms the important role of parents in keeping their teens drug-free.

In 2006, current use of illicit drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol (including binge drinking) was lower among youths aged 12 to 17 who reported that their parents always or sometimes engaged in monitoring behaviors than among youths whose parents seldom or never engaged in such behaviors. And most youths (90.4%) reported that their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice. Current marijuana use was also much less prevalent among youths who perceived strong parental disapproval for trying marijuana once or twice than for those who did not.

Experts encourage parents to recognize that their teens still want their guidance, even if it may seem they are fighting for more independence, and to take action. "While teens' lives are crowded with many different, and often conflicting, messages, this is just further proof that parents matter the most to their teens when it comes to making important decisions," said Dr. Phillippe Cunningham, professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Family Services Research Center. "The youth trends in prescription drug abuse are troubling, which
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SOURCE Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
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