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Monday, February 25, 2013

Talk to Your Children About Drugs

Parents who speak to their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol greatly increase the chances that their children will abstain. A new study conducted recently found that middle school students were less likely to think drugs were bad if their parents shared stories of their own past substance use. However, parents who simply warn their children not to use drugs were more likely to stay away, ABC News reports.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign observed 561 middle school students. If parents set rules against drugs and told them about people’s misfortune as a result of using drugs, their children were less interested in using drugs and would stay away.

“Parents should really hit on what are the bad things that can happen, health-wise, from using drugs,” researcher Jennifer Kam told ABC News. ”They should really clearly tell kids that they disapprove of them using drugs. Also, give them strategies to avoid use or decline use in a way that makes them look cool.” She advised parents against lying. “I wouldn’t volunteer the information, but if a child asks, and a parent lies, it could impact the relationship later on,” she noted.  

The study appears in the journal Human Communication Research.
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