Parents, Do Not Admit Past Drug Use To Child, Study Says

Parents should not admit past drug use to their children, according to research released on Friday, February 22. The study first appeared in the journal Human Communication Research and was reported by UPI.

In the study conducted by researchers Jennifer A. Kam and Ashley V. Middleton, children whose parents did not reveal their past drug use but conveyed an anti-drug message “were more likely to exhibit anti-drug attitudes.”

Kam, a representative from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Middleton of MSO Health Information Management, used surveys from “253 Latino and 308 European-American students,” added John Paul Gutierrez of the International Communication Association on the site EurekAlert.

The findings contradict past studies in which teens reported they would be less likely to use drugs if their parents revealed past drug use.

“Parents may want to reconsider whether they should talk to their kids about times when they used substances in the past and not volunteer such information,” Kam said.

In addition to identifying past drug use admissions as a bad idea, Gutierrez pointed out that the study reveals some positive solutions.

“For example, parents may talk to their kids about the negative consequences of using substances, how to avoid substances, that they disapprove of substance use, the family rules against substance use, and stories about others who have gotten in trouble from using substances,” Gutierrez said.

In other words, you may be harming your kids with unintended consequences by being honest with them, similar to how smoking in front of your children might negatively affect them.

With recent reports of a shocking number of teens admitting their peers do drugs at school, the new study could be a valuable tool for parents looking for ways to approach the drug talk with their children.

Do you agree with hiding past drug use from your children?

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