Avoiding Drug Use Can Be a Family ChoiceLast Updated: Wednesday, July 8, 2020
(NIDA Blog Team) A lot of things can increase the risk that a teen will have a problem with drugs. These risk factors include difficulties in school, problems making friends, even the person’s biology.
Another risk factor is living with a parent who uses drugs. A recent study offers a reminder that avoiding drug use is an important choice for the entire family.
Specifically, teens and young adults who lived with a parent who used marijuana were more likely to use marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol, and to misuse opioids, than were those living in households where a parent did not use marijuana.
The connection existed even if the parent(s) didn’t use marijuana often, and even if they had only used it in the past.
…not a cause
When thinking about scientific studies, it’s important to understand what their findings don’t mean. In this case, the findings don’t mean that if a parent uses marijuana, their teen or young adult will definitely use marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol, or will definitely misuse opioids.
Think of all those risk factors. Parents’ drug use is another one of them, and none of the factors causes teens to use drugs—they just increase the risk that they will. Read the rest on NIDA's website.