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Prevention - Substance Use Risk Related To Type Of Residential Parent

An Article By Terence T. Gorski
GORSKI-CENAPS Web Publications
www.tgorski.com
Published On: July 26, 2001          Updated On: April 13, 2002
© Terence T. Gorski, 2001

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Prevention - Substance Use Risk 
Related To Type Of Residential Parent

Martha Irvine of The Associated Press reported on Jul 19, 2001 that high schoolers' use of such drugs as heroin, Ecstasy and marijuana increased - reversing a three-year decline in overall drug use. Meanwhile, cigarette and alcohol use dropped to a 13-year low.

a school survey conducted by PRIDE, an Atlanta-based anti-drug organization Surveys which is an arm of the Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education.  More than 75,000 students nationwide in school during the 2000-2001 academic year answered anonymously questionnaires.  The survey shopwed that ...

Students Who Lived With ...      The percent that reported drug use was ...

     ... Fathers Only ........................... 38.4%

     ... Father & Stepmother ................ 31.9%%

     ... Mother & Stepfather ................ 29.8%

     ... Mother Only ............................ 28.3%

     ... Both Parents ........................... 20.4%

This study highlights why - absent of abuse, neglect or abandonment - there should be mandatory joint custody. Children need both parents and do best when both parents are actively involved in their lives. 

A survey of teens released in February by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that the risk of drug abuse was slightly higher for children living with single moms than with single dads. It also found drug use was greatly reduced in both types of homes when the parents were "hands on," or supervised their teen-agers and imposed rules.

In terms of drug use, the new survey found that 35.3 percent of ninth- to 12th-graders said they had used any illicit drug in the last year, compared with 34.3 percent in 1999-2000.

Gleaton said the increase was statistically significant but added that he was not alarmed because a one-year increase does not necessarily point to a trend.

He did, however, note that drug use among junior high students increased only slightly from 13.6 percent to 13.7 percent - something he credited to focusing anti-drug campaigns on that age group.

Calling for stepped-up anti-drug campaigns at the high school level, Gleaton noted that similar efforts against drinking and cigarettes also have been successful. The survey found that 52.1 percent of all students said they had used alcohol in the last year, a low not seen since 1987-88. Cigarette use dropped to 30.5 percent, continuing a downward trend that began in 1997-98.

"When we as a nation decide to make a change and improve the health, I think we can do that," Gleaton said.

But Michael Newcomb, a psychologist and co-director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse research center at UCLA, cautioned against accepting the results of a nonrandom survey. He said random surveys - particularly the long-standing, federally funded "Monitoring the Future" youth survey - provide less biased results because the participants don't self select.

The latest results from that survey show an increase in use of Ecstasy and non-injected heroin among older teens. But there was little change in the use of other drugs, including marijuana.

Officials at the White House's Office on National Drug Control Policy say they use the PRIDE survey as a supplement to such random national questionnaires as the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, set for release in late August.

"The PRIDE findings reinforce what we already know: youth with strong parental influences and access to local support networks are much less likely to use illegal drugs," Edward Jurith, acting director of the ONDCP, said in a statement.

On the Net:   Pride Surveys: http://www.pridesurveys.com 

This story can be found at : http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAWPZA4DPC.html

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