Drug Abuse and the Family

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When growing up as a teenager, I would always get upset with my parents and how strict they were when it came to hanging out wit my friends. Whether it was having to talk to my friend's mother or father to make sure they were going to be home, or having to be home before midnight, I never understood why they didn't trust me. After reading the journal article by Joseph Califano Jr., called Parent Power, I realized why my parents were so worried and protective.

In the article, it talked about the growing number of teenagers who are abusing drugs and the importance the family has over the decisions the teenager will make when it comes to drug use. In Califano's exact words, "what motivates your kids is the perception of how Mom and Dad will react to their smoking, drinking or drug use." Califano throughout the article stresses the importance of a caring a nourishing household. If a teenager truly feels like he is loved and that his parents care about his/her decisions, then that will be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing whether or not to use drugs. Outside of the family, the "world of most teenagers is infested with drugs." Since 2002, in middle school alone, the proportion of students who say that drugs are used, sold or kept in schools is up 47 percent, and in high school, the number is up 41 percent. The numbers come out to be 2.4 middle-schoolers, more than a quarter, and 10.6 million high-schoolers, which is almost two-thirds, are attending schools where drugs are used or sold. What Califano found to be very sad, is that many parents accept the fact that there is epidemic of drug abuse in schools, whether it be selling or using. Fifty-six percent of parents asked about getting drugs out of schools thought it was an unrealistic goal. The CASA survey for 2004-2005 shows even more evidence of the increasingly drug ridden world of teens. The percentage of 12 to 17 year olds who knew a friend that abused prescription drugs jumped to 86...
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