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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:
“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:
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."