Monitoring the Future: Something to Talk About

By Misty Posted December 16, 2009 under

You may have heard (especially if you are a subscriber to the Stop Medicine Abuse newsletter) that the National Institute on Drug Abuse recently released the results of this year’s Monitoring the Future study. This report tracks the trends of different teen behaviors including substance abuse and the prevalence of over-the-counter cough medicine abuse.

There is some good news in this year’s report: cough medicine abuse among teens has not increased. On the other hand, however, it hasn’t gone down. Ultimately, the findings mean that we here at Five Moms still have a lot of work to do when it comes to raising awareness about this behavior, and we cannot do this alone.

You can do many things to help keep your teens safe. The first step is to start talking about cough medicine abuse – talk about it with your teens, your friends, your neighbors, and other adults in your community. The more educated we are, the better chance we have of ensuring that our teens understand the dangers of this behavior.

The value of talking with your teens about substance abuse cannot be underestimated. This year’s Monitoring the Future study indicated that teens’ overall perception about the risks of drug abuse is decreasing. We must change this and ensure that our teens understand the true dangers of such behavior. After all, research indicates that teens whose parents talk to them a lot about the dangers of drug abuse are up to half as likely to abuse drugs.

As we get into the heart of the holiday season and school vacation, take just a few moments to share your views on substance abuse with your kids. It could make more difference than you’ll know.

On behalf of all of the Five Moms, I want to thank you for your help so far and ask that you continue to support our mission to make as many parents aware of cough medicine abuse as possible. You can help us by telling your friends or joining our community on Facebook, and together, we can continue to make a difference.