Eat Together as a Family. Save Your Kids From Drugs?

Photo: SuziJaneResearch by the National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse compared the drug and alcohol consumption patterns of teens that ate family dinners 5 or more times per week, with those that ate them 2 or less times per week, and the difference revealed is dramatic. Families that don’t often eat together have teen children that are:

300% more likely to smoke marijuana 250% more likely to smoke cigarettes 150% more likely to drink alcohol

Wow! What an easy way to make a real difference, in your teen’s life, and for the family as a whole. The study authors state that although the simple act of eating together as a family seems most important, the experience can be enhanced with conversation and by ensuring the TV is turned off throughout the meal.

Research continually demonstrates the influence of family and parental involvement on the likelihood of teens avoiding the troubles of drugs and alcohol. And this recent study shows just how easily parents can ensure they exert that influence. Make it fun for all, order a pizza if that’s what it takes, and sit down as a family, at the table. It’s worth it.

Photo: SuziJaneResearch by the National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse compared the drug and alcohol consumption patterns of teens that ate family dinners 5 or more times per week, with those that ate them 2 or less times per week, and the difference revealed is dramatic. Families that don’t often eat together have teen children that are:

300% more likely to smoke marijuana 250% more likely to smoke cigarettes 150% more likely to drink alcohol

Wow! What an easy way to make a real difference, in your teen’s life, and for the family as a whole. The study authors state that although the simple act of eating together as a family seems most important, the experience can be enhanced with conversation and by ensuring the TV is turned off throughout the meal.

Research continually demonstrates the influence of family and parental involvement on the likelihood of teens avoiding the troubles of drugs and alcohol. And this recent study shows just how easily parents can ensure they exert that influence. Make it fun for all, order a pizza if that’s what it takes, and sit down as a family, at the table. It’s worth it.

Teens experimenting with harder drugs are 3 times as likely to have suicidal thoughts

Teens that use drugs other than marijuana are three times as likely to have suicidal thoughts…and only about a third of teens at risk for suicide receive any preventative counseling.

Revealing statistics by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) show that although we know that the best way to lessen the prevalence of suicide is through early intervention and counseling, we are failing to intervene with the vast majority of at risk kids.

Additionally, we also know that those kids who use drugs other than marijuana are three times as likely (29% as versus 10% for non drug using kids) to have suicidal thoughts. Also disturbing is that the vast majority of kids who do eventually get preventative therapy for suicidal ideations receive this treatment only after an unsuccessful suicide attempt or voiced suicidal thoughts.

Although we aren’t doing a great job recognizing and intervening in the lives of at risk kids, nobody really has any concrete ideas or plans for doing better; and any attempts at bettering our track record of intervention surely have to begin in the home, and with the only people who have much real influence over at risk teens…their parents.

A wake up call for parents

Parents who catch their kids using illicit drugs need to understand the accompanying risks associated with drug seeking behaviors, and recognize that almost 3 in 10 teens that are using drugs are at risk for suicide. Parents need to stay involved and vigilant in the lives and behaviors of teens prone to experimentation, and be ready to take appropriate action should teens exhibit drug seeking behaviors.

Don’t take a chance…get professional help!

Substance abuse is always best caught as early as possible, and in the early stages very low intensity therapy or treatment can have great effects. Another compelling reason for catching substance abuse at the earliest possible opportunity is to identify kids at risk for suicidal thoughts…and some professional involvement may be advisable when kids are experimenting with drugs other than marijuana. Although most kids experimenting with harder drugs do not have suicidal thoughts, enough do that early drug experimentation must be a call to preventative action and possibly professional intervention.

 

Teens that use drugs other than marijuana are three times as likely to have suicidal thoughts…and only about a third of teens at risk for suicide receive any preventative counseling.

Revealing statistics by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) show that although we know that the best way to lessen the prevalence of suicide is through early intervention and counseling, we are failing to intervene with the vast majority of at risk kids.

Additionally, we also know that those kids who use drugs other than marijuana are three times as likely (29% as versus 10% for non drug using kids) to have suicidal thoughts. Also disturbing is that the vast majority of kids who do eventually get preventative therapy for suicidal ideations receive this treatment only after an unsuccessful suicide attempt or voiced suicidal thoughts.

Although we aren’t doing a great job recognizing and intervening in the lives of at risk kids, nobody really has any concrete ideas or plans for doing better; and any attempts at bettering our track record of intervention surely have to begin in the home, and with the only people who have much real influence over at risk teens…their parents.

A wake up call for parents

Parents who catch their kids using illicit drugs need to understand the accompanying risks associated with drug seeking behaviors, and recognize that almost 3 in 10 teens that are using drugs are at risk for suicide. Parents need to stay involved and vigilant in the lives and behaviors of teens prone to experimentation, and be ready to take appropriate action should teens exhibit drug seeking behaviors.

Don’t take a chance…get professional help!

Substance abuse is always best caught as early as possible, and in the early stages very low intensity therapy or treatment can have great effects. Another compelling reason for catching substance abuse at the earliest possible opportunity is to identify kids at risk for suicidal thoughts…and some professional involvement may be advisable when kids are experimenting with drugs other than marijuana. Although most kids experimenting with harder drugs do not have suicidal thoughts, enough do that early drug experimentation must be a call to preventative action and possibly professional intervention.