Adolescent drug and alcohol use

Date: Nov 04 2015

EMBARGOED UNTIL: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, 12:01 a.m. EST

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Adolescent alcohol, drug use with or without a parent’s knowledge results in negative consequences

Chicago  — Adolescents who use alcohol and other drugs – both with and without a parent’s knowledge – experience negative consequences, according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 143rd Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Researchers from FCD Prevention Works, part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, surveyed more than 50,000 6th-12th grade students from 24 countries on the topic of substance use. They compared student alcohol and other drug use in the home, with or without a parent’s knowledge, to students’ self-reported negative consequences related to their own use.

Findings showed that students who used alcohol or other drugs at home, without their parents knowing, were two to five times more likely to report a negative consequence related to their substance use, such as feeling guilty or regretting something they did while drinking or using other drugs. While students who used alcohol or other drugs at home with a parent’s knowledge were protected against some negative consequences, they were also at an increased risk of experiencing negative consequences related to addiction, such as needing a drink or other drug first thing in the morning, using alcohol or other drugs alone, passing out because of drinking and getting hurt or injured.

“These results contradict the common attitude that it is safest for teens to drink at home under parental supervision,” said study author Heather Fay, MHS, of FCD Prevention Works. “While using alcohol or other drugs at home with a parent’s knowledge may protect students from experiencing certain short-term negative consequences, it places adolescents at greater risk for addiction. Explaining such phenomena may improve family health practices and decrease adolescent alcohol and other drug risks perpetuated in the home.”

APHA’s 143rd Annual Meeting is themed “Health in All Policies” and will focus on how public health agencies and organizations can work with those who are best positioned to create policies and practices that promote healthy communities and environments.

5082.0: Parental perceptions of and influences on children's drinking behavior

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Researchers: Heather Fay, MHS, Program Services, FCD Prevention Works, Newton, Massachusetts

Desirae Vasquez, MHS, Program Services, FCD Prevention Works, Newton, Massachusetts

Information for media: The APHA Annual Meeting Press Office will be located in W475B of the McCormick Place convention center.

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