Family Dinners: The Difference they Make in Raising your TEENS

Last week a revealing report was released about teens and substance abuse.

Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are more than twice as likely to say that they expect to try drugs in the future, according to The Importance of Family Dinners VI, a new report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University.

The CASA family dinners report reveals that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of teens think that eating dinner frequently with their parents is very or fairly important. Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners, those who have infrequent family dinners are:

  • Twice as likely to have used tobacco;
  • Almost twice as likely to have used alcohol; and
  • One and half times likelier to have used marijuana.

The report found that compared to teens who talk to their parents about what’s going on in their lives at dinner, teens who don’t are twice as likely to have used tobacco and one and a half times likelier to have used marijuana.

The report also reveals that teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week are twice as likely to be able to get marijuana or prescription drugs (to get high) in an hour or less. Teens who are having five or more family dinners per week are more likely to say that they do not have any access to marijuana and prescription drugs (to get high).

This year the trend survey found that 60 percent of teens report having dinner with their families at least five times a week, a proportion that has remained consistent over the past decade.

Family Dinners and Having Friends Who Use Substances

Teens who have frequent family dinners are less likely to report having friends who use substances.

Compared to teens who have five to seven family dinners per week, those who have fewer than three family dinners per week are:

  • More than one and a half times likelier to have friends who drink regularly and use marijuana;
  • One and half times likelier to have friends who abuse prescription drugs (to get high); and
  • One and a quarter times more likely to have friends who use illegal drugs like acid, ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

Broward County Office of Prevention Programs offers a vast variety of resources to help parents and teens.  From health and wellness to teen substance abuse, visit www.browardprevention.org for more information.

For the complete press release from CASA, click here.

As Recovery Month Awareness is nearly over, please continue all year round in educating teens and others about the dangers of addiction.

So, what is for dinner tonight?

Read more.

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