Teen Girls Drink to Forget Their Troubles, Study Says
Teenage girls pack their bags for Margaritaville far more often than their male peers do, in the hopes of washing away their sorrows.
USA Today reports that the nationwide study, which surveyed 3,287 teenagers in grades nine to 12 in private and public schools, reveals that two-thirds of teenage girls use drugs and alcohol to escape their troubles, especially problems at home. Half of the girls surveyed also agreed that alcohol and drugs help all teens forget their problems.
Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of Partnership for a Drug-Free America, warns parents that false ideas about girls and illegal substances can lead to real problems."Your daughter, who you may assume may not be doing drugs, is actually more predisposed to this," he tells USA Today.
Pasierb adds that the study, paid for by the MetLife Foundation, also shows that use of marijuana and alcohol is increasing among all teens. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, too, says Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, thanks to advertising images of prescription pills as problem solvers.
"We've become a society that basically says, 'If things aren't perfect in your life, take a pill,' " Fay tells USA Today. "This causes our young people to see drugs as an answer."
Plain old-fashioned fun is another motivator for kids to drink and take drugs, says the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That survey reveals that 41 percent of teen boys think "parties are more fun with drugs."
Related: Parenting Style an Influence on Teen Drinking, Study Says
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.