Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse 2006 | CASAColumbia

National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XI: Teens and Parents

National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XI: Teens and Parents

Published: August 2006

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Background

This survey aims to identify the situations, individual and family characteristics, and social factors that are associated with teen drug abuse and addiction. Its primary purpose is to track attitudes of teens and those, like parents, who have the greatest influence on whether teens will smoke, drink, get drunk, use illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs.

CASAColumbia’s teen surveys have consistently found that the family is fundamental to keeping children away from tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. Teen drug abuse plays a major role in addiction. People who do not use tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs before age 21 are virtually certain never to do so. This report outlines several teen drug abuse facts and teen drug abuse statistics.

Method

On behalf of CASAColumbia, QEV Analytics, a national public opinion research firm, conducted a nationally representative telephone-based survey of 1,297 teens, ages 12 to 17, and 562 parents of teens, of whom 470 were parents of teens we interviewed.

Results

This survey found 1 out of 3 teens and nearly 1 out of 2 17-year-olds have attended house parties where parents were present and teens were drinking, smoking marijuana or using cocaine, ecstasy or prescription drugs. The survey also revealed that teens who said parents were rarely or never present at the parties they attended were 16 times likelier to have said alcohol was available, 15 times likelier to have said illegal and prescription drugs were available and 29 times likelier to have said marijuana was available, compared to teens who said parents were always present at the parties they attended.

Additional teen drug abuse statistics from this survey included:

  • 80% of parents believed that neither alcohol nor marijuana was usually available at parties their teens attended, but 50% of teen partygoers said they attended parties where alcohol, drugs (including marijuana) or both were available
  • 98% of parents said they were normally present during parties they allowed their teens to have at home, but a third of teen partygoers reported that parents were rarely or never present at the parties they attended
  • 99% of parents said they would not be willing to serve alcohol at their teen’s party, but 28% of teen partygoers said they have been at parties at a home where parents were present and teens were drinking alcohol
  • Only 12% of parents saw drugs as their teen’s greatest concern, but twice as many teens said drugs were their greatest concern

A Note on the Language
In 2012, CASAColumbia stopped using words like “drug abuse”/“drug abuser” because the terms have negative connotations. Instead, we now distinguish between “addiction” (clinical criteria for the disease) and “risky use” (use of addictive substances in ways that increase the risk of harm but do not meet criteria for addiction). Some reports and other publications published prior to 2012 still contain this outdated language.

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Further information

Read the press release.

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