Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Four Generations Overcoming Addiction

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A recent survey commissioned by Hazeldon, a substance abuse treatment center, has inspired a campaign to start family conversations about alcohol. They call the campaign "Four Generations Overcoming Addiction," and it encourages parents to talk with their children about their own alcohol use when they were teenagers.

The survey results from Ipsos Public Affairs are based on interviews done online with 603 teens between the ages of 15 and 18 and telephone interviews with 620 parents of teens. Some of the interesting results included:
  • 67 percent of teens reported that their parents already talk to them about their own drug and alcohol use as teens;
  • 74 percent of the teens consider their parents their first source of advice about alcohol and drug use; and
  • The majority of parents who have not told their teens about their own alcohol and drug use report their decision is based on a desire that their children "will do as I say, not as I did."
These results led Hazeldon to suggest that today's teens are more open with their parents than their parents were with their parents and that "Just Say No" will not work as a strategy to reduce alcohol use. Parents are role models, teens want to learn from parents, and the time has come to stop ignoring abuse in families. Talking about the good, and and ugly decision and experiences we have all had as parents will benefit us and our children!

Photo credit: Edwin Land
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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