In the last decade, a steady decline on teen alcohol and drug use has been recorded by government agencies. However, the last three years showed an increase in drug and alcohol use among teens. MetLife Foundation together with The Partnership at Drugfree.org released results of a study describing the ballooning percentage of marijuana and ecstasy use, as well as alcohol intake on the youth population.
According to their research, a 67% in ecstasy use and a 22% increase in marijuana use in the last three years have been noted. It was also featured that underage drinking has become a normal habit among the youth, and parents are feeling these negative trends without having enough tools to combat such conditions.
When it comes to alcohol use, most teens surveyed say they had their first experience with alcohol at age 15. Most of them reason out that they see drinking or heavy drinking of alcoholic beverages as much safer than being addicted to dangerous substances. A more alarming result puts one in every four teens had full alcoholic drink for the first time when they were just 12 years old.
Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, is very worried on the latest findings of their study. He says “a heavier burden is placed squarely on the shoulders of parents” who have to take a stand against their children’s addictions. They will also have to play active roles in the prevention of substance abuse within their families. Anytime parents see something suspicious in their child’s behavior, they should be the ones to initiate actions to prevent any development of alcohol or drug abuse.
Parents can get support from the schools or from the community that aims to educate and prevent dangerous substance and alcohol abuse in the youth sector.