Parent Marijuana Use Influences Youth Substance Use
A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health examined prospective longitudinal data from three generations to test whether and how parent and grandparent marijuana use predicts an increased likelihood of child cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use.
Results showed that parent current use of marijuana predicted child use of alcohol and marijuana, as did children’s perceptions of parent’s norms.
We concur with the authors who concluded that to the extent parent marijuana use increases under quickly expanding legalization efforts throughout the US and abroad, more youth are also likely to use alcohol and marijuana, and to have norms that favor substance use.
Given this potential, we call for immediate and significant increases in funding from local, state and national sources for prevention strategies shown to effectively reduce marijuana and alcohol use among youth and young adults.
These prevention efforts should be designed not just to thwart the likely increase in youth marijuana and alcohol use in the future, but to preemptively drive down the current levels of consumption of these two most widely used substances among youth and young adults.
Two examples of evidence-based programs shown to prevent marijuana and alcohol use, while also increasing healthy habits and positive identity are the:
1) SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program for youth (http://preventionpluswellness.com/sport-prevention-plus-wellness/), and the
2) InShape Prevention Plus Wellness program for young adults (http://preventionpluswellness.com/inshape-prevention-plus-wellness/).
Read the complete research abstract: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X16300386