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Monday, October 25, 2010

Teens Lie About Drug Use and So Do Parents

It is no secret that most people who use or have used drugs in the past are not honest when asked about it, even when asked in anonymous surveys. Both parents and teenagers lie when asked about the substance use history which is a big problem for experts to gauge how many people are using drugs and what they may be using. Most parents have no idea what their teenagers are up to and if they do have an idea they typically pass it off as common teenage behavior which can be quite dangerous. Researchers published a new study in Pediatrics which had some interesting and alarming results.

432 African-American teenagers and their parents were asked to participate in an anonymous survey about their use of cocaine, opiates, and marijuana and that there would also be a drug test in conjunction with the survey:

  • Of the 211 teenagers whose hair was tested for cocaine, 2 said they used it, but 69, or 34 percent, tested positive.
  • Of the 244 parents tested, 15 said they had used cocaine, but 69, or 28 percent, tested positive.
  • Alcohol - 9.6 percent of the parents said their teenager drank, while 25 percent of the teenagers said they did.
  • Marijuana - 9.5 percent of parents said their teenager smoked, while 17 percent of the teens said they did.

"Researchers, at Wayne State University in Detroit, say that relying on anonymous surveys could lead researchers, parents, and pediatricians seriously astray in estimating the health risks teenagers face", according to US News. The younger a teenager starts experimenting with drugs, the greater the chance for addiction, parents should address problems as soon as they can and not pass off drug and alcohol use as typical teenage behavior. Parents should never be afraid to confront their children about drugs or alcohol; the more open parents are with children the better.

Source:
US News

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