Not my kid

How clueless are parents when it comes to evaluating the likely use of alcohol and marijuana by their dear ones? Pretty clueless, a new study suggests.

The National Poll on Children’s Health asked parents asked parents of teens about their perceived use of the substances by their own kids and other people’s kids.

Only 1 in 10 believe their teens have drunk alcohol in the last year. Only 1 in 20 say their kid has used marijuana in the last year. It’s possible they’re right, but they’re probably not.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s most recent annual survey recently found 65 percent of high school seniors, 52 percent of 10th graders, and 29 percent of eighth graders have used booze in the last year.

More than a third of the 12th graders said they’ve used pot in the last year. Twenty-eight percent of tenth graders said they had, too.

The survey says, however, that parents are overestimating drug and alcohol abuse by other kids. They believe other kids — 10th graders in this case — use marijuana at the rate about about 40% and alcohol at the rate of about 60%.

But the data from the National Institutes of Health says they’re not that far off.


  • andy

    I know my parents were clueless about my alcohol intake while I was in high school. I’ve since leveled with them, now that I’m safely in my upper 30’s……

  • Jim Shapiro

    Good thing we don’t permit pharmaceutical companies to advertise drugs on TV! Image the influence that THAT would have on young people’s behavior!

  • Cara

    I was clueless about my eldest. That is until she went to college and I was asked to look in her bedroom closet for boots or some such thing. Discovered a bag with an empty raspberry vodka bottle. That opened my eyes!

    With the youngest, who’s a freshman in college now, I wasn’t clueless at all about her. I follow her and her high school buddies on Twitter. Amazing what they blab about. And they post pictures too!

  • Kassie

    My parents were the opposite. I found out while in college that my parents assumed I was smoking weed in my basement all through high school. Nope, never smoked weed in high school, but apparently my parents would have been fine with it.

  • John P.

    I remember taking a similar poll in high school. Most everyone I talked to admitted to far more than the truth. We wanted to appear “bad” or adult or something, I guess.