Substance Abuse and American Families Today
Addiction knows no demographic boundaries and touches all sectors of society.
- 22.6 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol. (Source: SAMHSA, NSDUH, 2006).
- This is the single greatest preventable health problem in the United States. (Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
- There are 35 million American families with children at risk of abusing drugs and alcohol. (Source: U.S. Census 2000, parents with children ages 9 -17)
- In 2005, the average age of those who first used illegal drugs in the past year and were under 18 was 14.6. (Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2005)
- Kids who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs, yet only 31 percent report learning a lot from their parents. (Source: Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2005)
- Three quarters of teens/young adults (ages 13-24) surveyed said their parents make them happy and almost half, when asked to name their hero, named their parents. And when asked the open-ended question “What one thing in life makes you most happy,” 46 percent cited spending time with family members and friends. (MTV Survey, 2007)
- Seven out of 10 (69 percent) grandparents reported they believe their grandchildren face greater worries than their parents did growing up. (Source: Partnership for a Drug-Free America/MetLife Foundation Survey, 2007)
- A majority of grandparents (56 percent) reported already having had a discussion about drugs with their oldest grandchild – and of those who had a discussion, nearly nine out of 10 (86 percent) said they felt “very comfortable” talking to their grandchild about alcohol or drug use. (Source: Partnership for a Drug-Free America/MetLife Foundation Survey, 2007)
- A growing number of parents don’t just want information; they want advice on what to do and best approaches to having open and honest conversations with their kids. 30 percent admit they need tips on how to start a discussion about drugs, and 37 percent reported they want information on how to tell if a child is using drugs. (Source: Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2006)
- In 2006, one in five (21 percent) 8th graders have used an illicit drug in their lifetime. Half (48 percent) of young people have used an illicit drug by the time they leave high school. (Source: Monitoring the Future 2006)
- One in five teens (19 percent) (grades 7-12) has abused prescription medicine to get high and one in 10 has abused cough medicine to get high. (Source: Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2005)
- 25 percent of parents think that their child has ever tried marijuana (PATS 2006); 37 percent of teens (grades 7-12) have tried the drug. (Source: Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2005)