Report: Parents 'Clueless' About Teen Drug, Alcohol Abuse

An annual survey from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York reported that parents are clueless when it comes to their teenagers’ behavior, which contributes to their drug and alcohol abuse, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

According to the survey:

— It is easier for teenagers to obtain prescription drugs than beer;

— Forty-two percent of teenagers said they can buy marijuana in one day or less;

— One-quarter of teenagers said they know a parent of a classmate or a friend who uses marijuana;

— Of the teenagers surveyed who do drink, almost 30 percent said their drink of choice was hard liquor mixed with soda or something sweet and 16 percent said they preferred beer;

The survey goes on to report that parents are failing to monitor their children’s activities and are not setting good examples for their kids.

More than 1,000 teens and more than 300 of their parents were surveyed. Almost half of the teens surveyed said they leave the house on school nights to hang out with their friends -- and half of those teens come home after 10 p.m. because they have been drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana or doing other drugs.

A little less than 30 percent of the teenagers said they come home between 8 and 10 p.m., but they are also drinking and/or using drugs.

Only 14 percent of the parents surveyed said their teenagers leave the house to hang out with friends on school nights.

"Every mother and father should look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are doing the parenting essential to help their child negotiate the difficult teen years free of tobacco, alcohol and drugs," said Elizabeth Planet, CASA's director of special projects.

Click here to read the full story from the Los Angeles Times.