TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - A recent national survey¹ commissioned by the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada (PDFC), shows that although parents say it is important to have a conversation with their kids about the dangers of drugs, there is still a lack of meaningful dialogue going on.
While 92% of parents of 11-19 year-olds claim to have talked with their kids about drugs in the past year, 40% of parents surveyed admitted that their conversation lasted a few minutes or less.
"That is not what we would consider a meaningful dialogue," says Marc Paris, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada. Other research has shown that when parents do engage in on-going dialogue with their teenagers, there is a 50% less likelihood of trial. "That's why our current drug prevention campaigns,² which are targeting parents, put so much emphasis on the need to talk to their kids," says Paris.
"Parents need to educate themselves before they engage," says Paris. "Too many parents jump right in and the conversation can derail quite easily. Learn as much as you can so that you understand what your kids are facing, in the schoolyard, on the street and at gatherings and parties."
In the survey, 97% of parents agreed with the statement "It is important for parents to talk to their kids about drugs" yet almost half (49%) wished they knew better what to say to their kids about drugs.
Meanwhile, 40% of teens said they "wished they knew better, how to say 'NO' when someone offers them drugs."
"You can work with your kids on strategies to avoid uncomfortable situations or looking 'uncool' if they don't go along with the crowd," suggests Paris. "The peer pressure kids face is enormous and too often they are left on their own to deal with it while parents avoid the subject at home."
The Partnership for a Drug Free Canada is a private sector, non-profit organization that creates and disseminates drug education and prevention messages³ with the help of their partners in advertising, research and media. PDFC also offers tools and practical tips on how to start the dialogue at www.canadadrugfree.org
¹The online survey was conducted between November 21 and December 6, 2011 by Vision Critical (Toronto) and Saine Marketing (Montreal) with a sample of 417 parents with kids aged 13 to 19 and with 314 kids aged 13 to 19.
²The current campaign was created pro bono by BBDO Toronto.
³Current campaign can be seen and heard at: http://immersionmedia.ca/PDFC_2011_Ads/
For further information:
Marc Paris, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug Free Canada (PDFC)
[email protected] (416) 479-6972.