Pubdate: Tue, 22 Feb 2005
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2005 Associated Press
Author: Larry McShane, Associated Press Writer
Bookmark: (Partnership for a Drug Free America)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Popular)


NEW YORK -- Although today's parents were more likely to use drugs than 
their predecessors, they are less likely to speak with their children about 
the issue and see less risk in drug experimentation, according to a new 
survey released Tuesday.

The study of parental attitudes toward teen drug use and drugs, conducted 
by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, found that barely half of the 
parents would be upset if their children experimented with marijuana.

The number of parents who have never spoken with their children about drugs 
was 12 percent, double what it was just six years ago, the 17th annual 
Partnership survey found.

While most parents no longer use drugs (11 percent reported marijuana use 
in the last year), they still carry attitudes fostered during their teen 
years. This is particularly true about parents who were teenagers in the 
late '70s and early '80s, when teen drug use was at a high point.

"While the vast majority of parents have left old habits behind, they're 
carrying old attitudes and beliefs forward," said Steve Pasierb, president 
and CEO of the Partnership. "If old habits die hard, the data suggests lax 
attitudes about drugs die even harder."

Among other findings in the survey:

_ While parents believe it's important to discuss drugs with their kids, 
only about three in 10 children say they've learned a lot about drug risks 
at home.

_ Only 18 percent of parents believe their children have smoked marijuana, 
but the number of teens experimenting with pot is 39 percent.

_ Just 21 percent of parents believe friends of their teen are smoking 
marijuana, but 62 percent of teens report friends who use the drug.

The study was conducted among 1,205 parents nationwide, with a margin of 
error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. The survey was conducted in 
households with children under the age of 18.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, launched in 1987, is a coalition 
of communications professionals aimed at reducing the demand for illegal drugs.
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