Parents Just Don’t Understand

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is out with a study confirming that parents are oblivious to what goes on at teen parties. Here are some of their findings:

  • Half of teens who attend parties say alcohol, drugs or both are available, but 80% of parents believe their teens attend substance-free parties
  • Parental supervision at parties deters some drug use but does not guarantee kids won’t sneak alcohol and drugs
  • Although 99% of parents say they would not be willing to serve alcohol at their teen’s party, 28% of teens say they have been at supervised parties where alcohol is available
  • The move from middle school to high school is a critical point where the risk of alcohol and drug abuse rises dramatically
  • 14-year-olds are four times more likely to be offered prescription drugs and three times more likely to be offered Ecstasy or marijuana than 13-year-olds
  • The older teens also are far more likely to encounter alcohol and drugs at parties even when parents are supervising

Seeing these statistics remind me of a video I saw at Glorieta College Week by liveabove.com. The group, known as the Youth Transitions Network, is trying to help the high school students stay grounded in Christ through the local church during their entry into college.

Parts of the video graphically depict party scenes and other common components of the college culture in a way that seemed needless to me. But when I was discussing why they included these graphic scenes, one of the people helping with the project explained to me that it was because most parents really don’t have a clue what actually goes on with their teens–just as this study confirms. Instead of simply exposing parents to these realities through student testimonies, the video goes a step further in depicting it in a way that is both shocking and memorable.

You will be hearing more about this movement in the months to come as the Youth Transitions Network seeks to make an impact nationwide.

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