NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Parents, Teens Differ On Drug Use

February 2, 2000

The perception gap between parents and teenagers when it comes to drugs remains wide. Here are some of the results from a survey commissioned by YM, U.S. News & World Report and Family Circle:

  • Thirty-nine percent of teens say trying drugs is just a part of growing up, and three-quarters said drugs are readily available.
  • Twenty-two percent say they've used drugs themselves.
  • But only 15 percent of parents say they think their own child has tried illegal drugs.

The gap extends to language as well. When teens use drug lingo such as "blunts" and "e," 89 percent of parents say they have no idea what they're talking about. While the survey showed advice from parents carried more weight with kids than friends, teachers or celebrities, 39 percent of kids say their parents rarely or never talk to them about drugs.

Source: Michelle Healy, "Parent-Teen Disconnect," USA Today, February 2, 2000.


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