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New Study About Teens Who Drink At Home

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“If you’re going to drink, I’d rather you do it here at home.” It’s an old adage everyone has probably heard at least once in their lives, if not from their own parents, from a friend’s. Conventional wisdom reasons that if teens are going to experiment with alcohol and drugs, it’s better to control the environment and allow them to do it at home, where risk can be mitigated.

A recent study, which was published by the American Public Health Association (APHA), sought to see how much truth there was to the so-called “wisdom.”

The survey

The study was conducted by FCD Educational Services, a non-profit organization providing school-based substance abuse prevention. From 2009 to 2014, it surveyed 53,000 students from 24 countries in grades six through 12.

The survey asked students to self-report their alcohol use in and out of the home, identify whether it was with or without parental/guardian knowledge, and to report any consequences. Data analysts examined the survey answers to determine the relationships between all of the variables.

The negative effects

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey data revealed a number of negative consequences associated with adolescent drinking. It showed that those who drank alcohol or used drugs without parental knowledge were between two and five times as likely to report a negative consequence. But the story doesn’t end there.

As it turns out, students who used drugs or alcohol with a parent’s knowledge faced their own set of consequences: an increased risk for addiction-related effects. These responses included “needed a drink or other drug first thing in the morning,” and “used alcohol or other drugs by oneself.”

In their own words, the researchers offered this conclusion of their study:

While using alcohol or other drugs at home with a parent’s knowledge may protect students from experiencing certain consequences, it may nonetheless endanger students in other, unexpected ways.

Risks abound, no matter where teens use

As evidenced by this research study (and, some might argue, common sense) teen drinking and drug use is never a good idea. Doing it at home does nothing to minimize risk; it simply presents risks – life-changing ones, at that – separate and apart from those previously considered.

Struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? Need help for someone you love? Get in touch with The Watershed today and find the care you’re looking for. 1-800-861-1768.

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