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Many adults probably remember taking risks in their teenage years. Such as engaging in foolish behavior or sneaking out of the house after everyone went to bed, all of which could easily be considered relatively benign behavior. Others may have tried marijuana with their friends and/or got into their parents’ beer or liquor, activities which many parents feel to be harmless. While that kind of behavior may not turn into a problem for most people, for others it can be the beginning of a disastrous road.

Teenagers who experiment with or use drugs and alcohol somewhat regularly often experience negative consequences for their actions. Some parents may see a drop in grade point average, or receive reports that their child has been skipping class. While other parents may have to deal with a child getting arrested for driving under the influence or being caught at school possessing marijuana—events which can have an impact on their teen’s future. What’s more, some teens who play with the fire of drugs and alcohol at such an early age may be positioning themselves to have problems with addiction later in life.

Unfortunately, many parents are OK with letting their children use marijuana or alcohol from time to time, as long as it does not impact their studies. Such allowances can be a precursor to addiction later in life. New research conducted at Michigan State University found that teens who have easy access to alcohol or drugs at home are more likely to develop substance used disorder as they get older, UPI reports. The findings were published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.

“While there have been many studies linking alcohol and drug use by parents to substance use among youths, there is limited research on how the availability of alcohol and drugs in the home may influence patterns of use among offspring in the future,” said Cliff Broman, professor of sociology at Michigan State University, in a press release. “These findings provide evidence that the availability of illegal drugs and alcohol in the home while growing up is a critical factor in the later use of substances.”

If you or a loved one is battling with substance use disorder, please contact Hope By The Sea. Many of our clients whose teenage drug and alcohol use led to addiction have managed to find recovery and live a life free from all mind altering substances.