First Time Drunk, High? Likely, Age 13

First Time Drunk, High? Likely, Age 13
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2004 at 08:09:13 PT
By Erin Anderssen
Source: Globe and Mail 
Ottawa -- One in five Canadian adolescents ages 12 to 15 has been drunk at least once, and has tried marijuana, according to a study released yesterday by Statistics Canada. The study, based on interviews with more than 4,000 youths in that age group, found those most likely to use drugs and alcohol travelled with peers who also did so, had parents who nagged or were inconsistent about rules, and were more likely to be doing poorly in school.
Among those who had been intoxicated, the average age for their first time was a few months past their 13th birthday -- around the same age they were most likely to sample their first joint. The likelihood of drinking and marijuana use increased with age; 66 per cent of 15-year-olds in the study reported consuming at least one drink and 38 per cent said they had smoked pot. Friends were the most significant factor, the study suggested: Kids who travelled in drinking circles were 11 times more likely to indulge themselves; those with peers who smoked pot were twice as likely to, compared to other teenagers. But parenting style also played a role, the study found, with the odds of alcohol use rising, the more hostile or inconsistent the parenting behaviour. Among youth in step-parent families, drug use was almost double compared to those raised in other two-parent settings.Similar findings have also been reported in U.S. research, including the suggestion that glue-sniffing, found in the Statistics Canada study to start around the age of 12, was a more common habit among younger adolescents than older ones.But the study warns against making a straight causal link: It is unclear, for example, how often nagging parents were responding to bad behaviour rather than setting it off, and hard to say how much peer pressure is to blame, or whether kids prone to drinking hang out with like-minded friends. The bottom line, suggests John Schulenberg, a leading expert on adolescent behaviour at the University of Michigan, is that parents should remember that the numbers are averages and they know their own children best. Long-term studies, he points out, have shown that the vast majority of experimenting teens develop responsible habits in adulthood. "Most try it, and most get over it," he said. "Freaking out" is about the worst thing parents can do. "We know from decades of research, that inconsistent, harsh parenting is a great way to train your child to be a deviant delinquent."Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author:  Erin AnderssenPublished: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - Page A19 Copyright: 2004 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Marijuana, Conference Agrees Mayor Touts Pot Legalization -- Canada Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #3 posted by CorvallisEric on May 19, 2004 at 15:14:11 PT
What does this mean?
Kids who travelled in drinking circles were 11 times more likely to indulge themselves; those with peers who smoked pot were twice as likely to, compared to other teenagers.Interesting - alcohol much more related to peer pressure than pot.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 19, 2004 at 09:39:08 PT
These Articles Baffle Me
I guess I've known this all along. It doesn't seem like it's profound to me. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on May 19, 2004 at 08:44:31 PT
what about adults?
We've got a society full of alcoholics and drug addicts, so to fix it, we crusade against the children.I saw the movie "River's Edge" last night. It's a great movie (somewhat disturbing). One of its major themes, if not the central theme, is this very problem.It's basically a collection of massively screwed up adults - they can't figure out what went wrong in their own lives, or how to fix it. Instead, they obsess over how terrible the current generation of youth is. In reality, the kids are just trying to figure out what the hell is going on in today's crazy society. It doesn't take much to wonder why.They look at their parents' lives and cringe. Working 60 hour weeks, barely able to pay the bills, nervous wrecks. If you want to succeed in business nowadays (which is necessary if you want to buy more than a shack for a house and afford to put your kids through college), you've got to work 60 hours a week, AND turn into a real prick who loves to boss other people around and force them to give up their lives also. You show me 1 person who's a successful manager or executive who hasn't turned into a-hole - they're extremely rare.Kids see all this and understand it clearly because their minds are still open. It's a frightening prospect for the rest of your life. Nowadays many are on prescription drugs before they even hit adolescence and get to form their own mindset.Wake up people! Our children are nothing but a perfect mirror reflection of us. Who else raised them? Where else would they get their ideas? If they want different children, they should focus on adults.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment