Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Tale of Two Generations – Addaction Survey

The BBC:

One in five children thinks their parents have tried drugs and one in 10 believes they still take them, a survey in England and Scotland suggests.

Some 90% of the 500 teenagers polled by charity Addaction said they were “against” drugs, but one in 10 thought celebrities made drugs seem “cool”.

Of 2,000 adults polled, 63% worried that stories about celebrity drug-taking would influence children.

(See also People Doing Drugs is Really Bad (BBC), Parents ‘naive’ about drug use by children (Guardian), Rave generation of parents more drug aware (ITN), Rave generation parents ‘more familiar with drugs’ (The Independent), Parents know about drugs – survey (Metro), One in five children think their parents have taken drugs (Telegraph), and Drugs survey shows lack of family communication (CYPN))

Addaction have a press release here which includes a quote from Deborah Cameron, their Chief Executive, who says:

Parents are more familiar with drugs than they were in the past – the rave generation of the 80’s have grown up and become parents.

This should give us the basis for more realistic discussions between parents and children about drugs, but our concern is that the demonisation of these issues often means the debate takes place in a moral panic.

The vast majority of young people do not take drugs or drink themselves senseless. Neither are they unduly influenced by media stories about celebrities taking drugs. But there are still problems – as many as one in six families are now affected by a family member’s problem drug use.

The full report is here, and has the following additional points that I found interesting:

  • The vast majority of people do think the government is not doing enough in tackling binge drinking (72 per cent) and drugs (76 per cent) among young people. However schools are seen as more effective with 43% saying they are doing a good job.
  • Around two thirds of adults questioned say they think illegal drug use among young people is increasing (67 per cent)
  • Parents were more likely to think other people’s children were using drugs than their own, with the majority of adults saying parents ‘don’t take enough responsibility’ for their children’s behaviour (83 per cent).
  • Only one in ten young people (eight per cent) said they would be likely to tell their parents if they were using drugs. Social networks are by far the preferred option, with two in three young people preferring to confide in friends
  • Only one in 100 would tell a teacher if they were using drugs whereas one in ten young people would turn to the government’s Talk to Frank website and helpline

Further reading:

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Filed under: drug information, parents,

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