Study of Teens: Binge Drinking Down; Drug Use Up
The 60's saw the emergence of young people who sampled a variety of of mind-altering hallucinogens.
The 70's gave us the "pot head."
The 80's drug of choice (at least in the circles I ran in) was alcohol.
The last 20 years have brought us a mish-mash of all of the above. (Keen observers will wonder what I am taking to have actually used the phrase "mish-mash" in a blog post.)
A recent study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that, in recent days, binge drinking among teens has decreased, but that the use of other drugs is on the rise. Perhaps the most troubling part of the findings is that the biggest increases are found in kids in the 8th grade.
Read the study. And have a discussion with your kids. We cannot take a "not my kids" approach to this issue. A tendency toward destructive behaviors and an inability to think through long-term consequences have always marked the teen years. But with many more dangerous behaviors becoming much more common, wise parents will be diligent to stay connected to the hearts and lives of their kids. Hopefully, conversations about these issues will be a natural (if somewhat awkward) part of the culture of your home.