Survey says parents underestimate risks of kid's alcohol/drug use

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Parents in the Dark

PLYMOUTH, Minn., March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As youth

drug and alcohol abuse continues to grow, many parents say they are

uninformed -- and largely unconcerned -- about the threat to their


So finds a new nationwide survey commissioned by the Hazelden Betty

Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit addiction treatment


"These startling findings suggest that some parents are

under-concerned about the dangers of alcohol and other drug use by

their children and are overly confident they would recognize signs of

their children's use," said Audrey Klein, PhD, executive director of

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Butler Center for Research. "This is

particularly worrisome given the consequences of teen alcohol and

other drug abuse -- including poor performance in school, a higher

rate of accidents, unintentional overdoses, violence, sexual trauma

and legal issues -- and, unfortunately in some cases, even death."

"Research has shown that parental involvement is an effective way to

prevent chemical use and addiction among youth," continued Klein. "Yet

this national survey revealed a remarkable lack of parental awareness

and concern about this important issue." Among the key findings of the

poll are:

-- Lack of concern by most parents. Nearly six in 10 (59.2 parents

of youth ages 12 to 24 say that they are not concerned about their

children's possible use or abuse of alcohol or other drugs. This

despite government surveys showing illicit drug use among teenagers

remains high.

-- Easy access to drugs and alcohol. One in four homes reports having

prescription painkillers (opioids) in unlocked cabinets or accessible

to their children. More than half of the homes surveyed (54.4 have

alcohol out in the open.

-- False sense of knowledge. Even though almost eight in 10 (78.9

parents think they have adequate education about child alcohol and

other drug abuse, on average they could name only two warning signs

out of 38 commonly known indications.

-- Don't know where to turn for help. Approximately one in five

parents (18 admitted they did not know where to turn for help if

their child is struggling with alcohol or drugs. One in five (20

said they would seek out their primary care physician, yet most

physicians are uncomfortable discussing alcohol and drug use with

patients and feel unprepared to adequately diagnose addiction.

Most doctors lack training in identifying substance abuse. Less than

20 percent of primary care physicians consider themselves "very

prepared to identify alcohol or drug dependence," compared to more

than 80 percent who are very comfortable diagnosing hypertension and

diabetes, according to the National Center on Substance Abuse at

Columbia University.

Resources are available for parents to educate themselves on how to

recognize signs of drug use and discuss the issue with their kids on

the Hazelden webpage:\

The survey of 2,454 parents in the United States was conducted by Q

Market Research. Findings have a confidence interval of 95% and a

margin of error of +/- 1.9%. For a copy of the report, "A matter of

concern: Survey finds parents underestimate risks of alcohol or other

drug use," please visit

In response to the need to help more young people, the Hazelden Betty

Ford Foundation has expanded its gender-specific treatment facility

for adolescents and young adults in Plymouth, Minnesota by 40 percent.

In addition, the Foundation has added youth outpatient treatment

programs and provides free recovery coaching for parents after their

child has been discharged as well as a social community with support

groups for parents.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation The Hazelden Betty Ford

Foundation helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of

addiction. It is the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider,

with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the

Betty Ford Center. With 15 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon,

Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the

Foundation offers recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire

continuum of care for youth and adults. It includes the largest

recovery publishing house in the country, a fully-accredited graduate

school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an

education arm for medical professionals and a unique children's

program, and is the nation's leader in advocacy and policy for

treatment and recovery. Learn more at

Logo -

SOURCE Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

-0- 03/06/2014

/CONTACT: Christine Anderson, Hazelden, 651-213-4231,


/Web Site:

CO: Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

ST: Minnesota




-- DC78375 --

0000 03/06/2014 16:59:00 EDT

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