Most parents dramatically underestimate the extent of alcohol and drug use among adolescents. Fewer than 5% of parents say that their sixth grade child has tried or is using alcohol. Yet 21% of sixth graders self-report alcohol use.
The disparity is more remarkable when the subject shifts to illegal drugs. Less that 1% of parents with children in the sixth grade believe that their child has tried or is using an illegal substance. In fact, 8% of sixth grade students report they have used an illicit drug in the past year. The gap between what parents think, and what children say they do, narrows slightly as the child ages, but the two indicators are never reconciled. More than two- thirds of 12th graders (68%) report alcohol use, but far less than half of the parents (41%) say their child drinks.
And once again, when it comes to illicit drugs, the two groups (12th grade students and parents) are far apart. While 36% of 12th graders acknowledge using an illicit drug in the past year, just 15% of parents say that their child has used or is using drugs. To learn about ways to protect your child from drug and alcohol use, call CTCADA at 254-690-4455!