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New Survey: Hispanic Teen Drug Use Significantly Higher Than Other Ethnic Groups, Substance Abuse Becoming Normalized Behavior Among Latino Youth
Date:8/20/2013

spanic parents face when it comes to protecting their children. The survey data show that Hispanic parents recognize that they have the main responsibility for educating their teens about the risks of drug and alcohol abuse.

Fortunately, most Hispanic parents (85 percent) understand that teens who start using drugs and alcohol at a younger age are more susceptible to substance abuse problems as they get older, compared to 74 percent for Caucasian parents and 73 percent for African-American parents.  Also, along with African-American parents (93 percent), a majority of Hispanic parents (94 percent) are more likely to report they have taken action once they learned about drug or alcohol use at home, when compared to 86 percent of Caucasian parents.

However the PATS data also found that Hispanic parents are more likely to be permissive toward their teen's substance abuse and share misconceptions regarding the relative safety of prescription drug abuse:

  • One in five (21 percent) Hispanic parents think "it's okay if my teen smokes marijuana sometimes," compared to 6 percent for Caucasian parents and 11 percent for African-American parents.
  • More than one in four (28 percent) Hispanic parents believe using Rx drugs to get high is much safer than using street drugs, compared to 9 percent for Caucasian parents and 20 percent for African-American parents.

"Parents play a critical role in helping shape the development and behavior of their teens and Hispanic parents, unfortunately, often feel helpless in influencing their teens' behaviors," said Dr. Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "The key to making parental influence count is building a positive relationship with your children. Catch your children doing something that you as a parent can validate and rewar
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SOURCE The Partnership at Drugfree.org
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