Should You Disclose Your Own Drug Use to Your Children?

Image: George Doyle/ThinkstockWhen we were growing up, there weren't too many parents admitting the drug use of their past (or present) to their children. It was the era of "just say no," but considering how many of our parents were youths in the free spirited 60s and club crazed 70s, chances are that many of them had dabbled in a little bit of this or that. Fast forward to the 21st century and after growing up with parents who many of us felt weren't being honest, a lot of parents now think honesty is the best policy when discussing drug use with their children. Admitting to drug use might just make your children think that you really know what you're talking about, and teaching them the dangers of drugs might just deter them from using drugs if you have a bad experience to share with them, or so it's been thought. But Science Daily reports on new research that suggests that parents who discuss their drug use with their children are more likely to have children who aren't anti-substance abuse.

Read More: Unsuspecting Parents Provide Drugs to 70 Percent of New Teen Users

The study done by Jennifer A. Kam of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ashley V. Middleton of MSO Health Management surveyed 561 children (253 Latino and 308 European American) in grades six through eight about their conversations with their parents about substance abuse and their perceptions about drug use. And while the research finds that discussing any of your own drug use with your children is not an effective way of developing an anti-substance abuse stance in your children, it wasn't all bad news. Science Daily reports:

Read More: Tired Teens More Likely to Engage in Risky Behavior

"Kam and Middleton's study identifies specific messages that parents can relay to their children about alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana that may encourage anti-substance-use perceptions, and in turn, discourage actual substance use. 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."

Read More: 6 Points to Consider About Teens and Drinking

The dangers of substance abuse and teens is always a big concern for parents, and no matter what your stance, it's important that you discuss this issue with your children, and rather early on in their young lives.

Will this new research change the way you speak to your children about drug use?

Top Stories on Children and Drug Use:
Unsuspecting Parents Provide Drugs to 70 Percent of New Teen Users
Tired Teens More Likely to Engage in Risky Behavior
6 Points to Consider About Teens and Drinking