CASA* 2005 Teen Survey: Teens Who Watch R-Rated Movies Likelier to Smoke, Drink and Use Drugs | CASAColumbia

CASA* 2005 Teen Survey: Teens Who Watch R-Rated Movies Likelier to Smoke, Drink and Use Drugs

CASA* 2005 Teen Survey: Teens Who Watch R-Rated Movies Likelier to Smoke, Drink and Use Drugs

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 18, 2005

12 to 17-year olds who watch three or more R-rated movies in a typical month are at more than 4 times the risk of substance abuse than those who do not watch R-rated movies. This was among the most striking findings of The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse X: Teens and Parents, released today by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

In a typical month, 43% of 12- to 17-year olds watch three or more R-rated movies either in theaters or on home video. Compared to the 22% of such teens who do not watch any R-rated movies in a typical month, those who watch three or more in a typical month are:

  • Nearly 7 times likelier to smoke cigarettes
  • More than 5 times likelier to drink alcohol
  • More than 6 times likelier to try marijuana

“With video tapes, DVDs and video-on-demand in our homes and available from video stores, and with multi-screen theaters in virtually every neighborhood, parents must be vigilant in monitoring their children’s viewing habits,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA Chairman and President and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Another troubling survey finding is the increase in the number of students who attend drug infected schools. Since 2002, the number of students who attend schools where drugs are used, kept or sold has jumped 41% for high school students and 47% for middle school students. 62% of high school students and 28% of middle school students attend drug infected schools, up from 44% of high school students and 19% of middle school students in 2002. “This means some 10.6 million high schoolers and 2.4 million middle schoolers are returning this summer and fall to drug infected schools,” said Califano.

Among the survey’s other key findings:

  • Teens who say that more than half their friends are sexually active are nearly 6 times likelier to smoke, drink and use drugs
  • Morality, parental attitude and health considerations are a far more powerful influence than legal restriction or illegality on the likelihood that a teen will smoke, drink or use drugs
  • Most teens say that legal restrictions have no effect on their decision to smoke cigarettes (58%) or drink alcohol (54%), and nearly half say that illegality has no effect on their decision to use marijuana (48%) or LSD, cocaine and heroin (46%)
  • From 2004 to 2005, the percentage of teens who know a friend or classmate:
    • That has abused prescription drugs jumped 86% (from 14% to 26%)
    • That has used Ecstasy is up 28% (from 18% to 23%)
    • That has used drugs such as acid, cocaine, or heroin is up 20% (from 35% to 42 %)
  • 1 in 3 teens say that drugs are their biggest concern, but only slightly more than 1 in 10 parents rank drugs as their teen’s top concern
  • 42% of 12 to 17 year olds (11 million) can buy marijuana within a day, and 21% (5.5 million) can buy it in an hour or less

QEV Analytics conducted The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse X: Teens and Parents for CASA from April 7 through June 4. The firm interviewed at home by telephone 1,000 teens (503 boys, 497 girls) and 829 parents (282 of whom were parents of interviewed teens). Sampling error is +/-3.1% for teens, +/-3.4% for parents.

CASA is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat all types of substance abuse as they affect all aspects of society. CASA has issued more than 55 reports, has conducted demonstration projects focused on children, families and schools at 96 sites in 41 cities in 22 states, and has been testing the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment, monitoring 15,000 individuals in more than 200 programs and 5 drug courts in 26 states. CASA is the creator of the nationwide Family Day initiative – the fourth Monday in September – that promotes parental engagement. For more information visit www.CASAColumbia.org.

*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as "CASA") or any of its member organizations with the name of "CASA."

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