Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Study: More teen girls getting high to cope at home

The New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) June 29:

"New survey data released today not only shows increases in alcohol and drug consumption among teenagers, notably girls, but provides information as to why they drink and do drugs. The results, a press release said, heavily suggest that teenagers - specifically teen girls - are drinking and getting high to deal with problems at home, academic pressure and general stress. According to a new research analysis of the 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) from the Partnership for a Drug Free America sponsored by MetLife Foundation, teen girls are more likely to associate 'self-medicating' benefits with drinking and getting high. More than two-thirds of teen girls responded positively to the question 'using drugs helps kids deal with problems at home' (an 11 percent increase, up from 61 percent in 2008 to 68 percent in 2009) and more than half reported that drugs help teens forget their troubles (a 10 percent increase, up from 48 percent in 2008 to 53 percent in 2009). Stress has been identified as a key factor leading to drinking, smoking and drug use among girls, and more than three times as many young girls as boys reported having symptoms of depression in 2008. 'Parents of teen girls have to be especially attentive to their daughters' moods and mental health needs, which can have a direct effect on their decisions regarding getting high and drinking,' said Jill K. Spineti, President and CEO of The Governor's Prevention Partnership... 'Parents can help prevent alcohol and drug abuse by recognizing and addressing their daughters' worries and stresses, by supporting their positive decisions and by taking immediate action if they suspect or know they have been experimenting with drugs and alcohol."
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