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Teens, Alcohol and Binge Drinking: Why Kids Are Drinking Hard Alcohol at a Younger Age

by Elisabeth Wilkins, Empowering Parents Editor
Teens, Alcohol and Binge Drinking:  Why Kids Are Drinking Hard Alcohol at a Younger Age

It’s Saturday night, and kids all over North America are hanging out at their friends’ houses, watching movies, going to parties. And children as young as 11 are taking their first drink of alcohol—the average age when boys start drinking. For girls, that age is now 13. More and more kids are drinking hard liquor, and an alarming number of those teens and pre-teens are binge drinking, which is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks of any alcohol in one setting for boys, and 4 or more drinks for girls.

“When I ask them if they drink to get drunk, they say, ‘Duh, that’s why we do it,’" says Dick Schaefer, an addiction counselor who has worked with chemically dependent teens for nearly thirty years. He is also the author of Choices and Consequences: What to Do When a Teenager Uses Alcohol/Drugs. “Getting drunk is the thing to do, and they associate it with fun.” Traditionally, in the upcoming season of graduation, prom and other kid rites of passage, the amount of alcohol young people drink soars. What's important, says Schaefer, is to keep the lines of communication open before an incident occurs—and know how to deal with your child if you do catch them drinking.

"They’re not sipping alcohol—they’re gulping it down like soda.”—Dick Schaefer

The fact is, kids are hitting the bottle in greater numbers these days, enough to cause the Surgeon General to issue a report last year warning parents about alcohol consumption among minors. According to the study, there are 11 million underage drinkers in the U.S., and 7.2 million of those teens and pre-teens are binge drinking. The reasons for the surge among teens and pre-teens in recent years are many: Kids are gravitating towards the newer, flavored hard liquors the alcohol industry is producing. And “They’re not sipping—they’re gulping it down like soda,” says Schaefer. “The kids I see tell me they drink every weekend, at least four times a month. And they get drunk each time.” He considers alcohol to be the number one risk for teens and pre-teens when it comes to substance abuse. The Surgeon General calls it “The drug of choice for teens in America."

Besides highway accidents and the increasing number of tragic fatalities caused by kids drinking to toxic levels, the dangers alcohol poses are many: recent studies have shown that binge drinking can lead to brain damage, obesity, memory loss, and impairment of other brain functions. The statistics are staggering: children who get drunk for the first time under the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later on in life. And if alcoholism is in your family, your child is four times more likely to become an alcoholic. It’s been estimated that more than three million teenagers are alcoholics in this country, and millions more are classified as having a serious drinking problem.

In the last five years, some troubling new trends have emerged: There have been an increasing number of younger kids who are referred to the court as first time users—or kids who have been caught in the act of underage drinking. “Now we’re getting 12 and 13 year olds referred into the court system. And I’ve seen kids who are 12 going to the ER as a result of over-drinking,” says Schaefer. In addition, more girls are being referred to the courts than ever before.

Misuse, Abuse and Addiction: Know the Difference
As the director of the Touch Love Addiction Treatment Center in Fargo, North Dakota, Schaefer also works with the court system in his area to help kids who have been arrested for consuming alcohol. Frequently, treatment  involves minors attending classes with their parents. He classifies their drinking at the following levels:

Misuse: Any time a minor drinks. (Except for religious purposes or meals at home with parental approval.)

Abuse: Any time a minor gets drunk or stoned, any time they have drugs on them, engage in binge drinking or have paraphernalia, and any time they get behind the wheel while intoxicated. As a parent, if you walk into your kid’s room and find a bottle of alcohol, marijuana or paraphernalia, you should consider them to be at the abuse level. “Kids at the misuse level won’t bring it home, because they can take it or leave it and they don’t want to get in trouble,” says Schaefer. “At the abuse level, they need the chemical high, so they’ll take the chance. Once you equate having fun with getting high, that’s abuse.”

Potential dependency: The primary relationship for addicts is the relationship with alcohol or drugs. This is when the relationship with the substance becomes more important than any other relationship. This is when a child will choose the chemical high over time with family or friends. “Alcoholics and drug addicts are very lonely people,” says Schaefer. “You can’t get close to someone while they’re high. I tell the kids in my classes, ‘You’re lonely, and you’re going to be lonely until you get straight.’”

Giving Consequences: 4 Types of Contracts
In his work as an addiction counselor, Schaefer developed a system of contracts parents can give their children in order to keep them alcohol and drug-free. Each new contract is adopted if the prior one has been broken.

The Rules: What can parents do to set consequences in the home? Start out with rules. “The rule in our house is no chemical use. Your curfew is 12:00 midnight on the weekends.” This is a verbal agreement with your child. List the logical consequences for breaking the rules. “We caught you drinking. You will have to forfeit the car keys for 1 month.” Negotiate with your teen and agree to the consequences ahead of time. This takes the heat out of the moment.

The Simple Contract:
This is a rule written down with specific consequences, to be implemented if the verbal agreement is broken. The Simple Contract should be written down and signed at the misuse level. At the very least, your child should agree to three things: no chemical use, no violence, and a curfew. Tell your teen that if they violate this contract, they will be sent to a chemical dependence evaluation.

The Turf Contract: If the Simple Contract is broken, the next type of contract you can implement is the Turf Contract. This is a written agreement that includes all the points of the Simple Contract and outlines the behavior required for the teen to earn privileges at home, like use of the car or cell phone. In addition to stopping any alcohol or drug use, the behavior might include school attendance and performance, keeping a curfew, or doing chores at home. The consequence you can give for breaking this contract is the choice of chemical dependence treatment in either an in-patient or out-patient setting. Schaefer advises, “Always give your child a choice—never put a kid in a corner without a way out.”

The Bottom-Line Contract: This is to be implemented if the Turf Contract is violated. The Bottom-Line Contract is a written agreement that outlines specific behaviors required for your child to retain the privileges of living at home or staying in school. It includes all the elements of the Simple and Turf Contracts. Consequences for breaking this contract by doing drugs or alcohol: Give the child the choice of two reputable and available inpatient treatment centers. “You’re saying, ‘You’re out of control, and we’re going to agree to get you help,'" Schaefer explains. 

If You Suspect Your Child Has a Substance Abuse Problem: What You Can Do Now
If you suspect your child might be drinking or taking drugs, talk to your child’s school. Substance abuse almost always shows up in attendance, GPA, and truancy. “If kids are getting drunk, they’re not doing their work,” says Schaefer. What happens in school is not confidential, and teachers are required to record observable behaviors of their students. Schools have checklists for teachers that parents can ask to see. (One of these is called the “Student Assisted Programs Checklist,” but names may vary from state to state.) The list includes questions about truancy, the students’ attitudes and behaviors, and also alcohol and drug-related questions. "As a parent, you have the right to know what is being recorded about your child," says Schaefer. While parents do not have a right to hear what kids tell school counselors or psychologists—except in the case of suicidal or homicidal behaviors or vandalism—parents do have a right to see any checklist the school has on their child.

You need to have some communication with your child about drinking and substance abuse. “It should be just as easy to talk to them about drinking and marijuana as it is to talk about sex…and that’s the problem,” says Schaefer. “We think we’re so open but we’re not. Talk about the drinking scene, talk to your kids about your concerns. Keep the lines of communication open.”

The good news is that not all kids are drinking. About 60 percent of kids in the U.S. and Canada drink, but 40 percent do not. Arm yourself with that information before you talk to your child, who might be under the impression that all his friends are doing it. “That’s the important message that I try to get across,” says Schaefer. “In my classes I say, ‘You guys are among the 60 percent, you broke the law.’ And that’s good to tell kids. We’ve got to break this idea that ‘everybody drinks’ because it’s just not true.”


At his court-mandated classes for kids who have been caught drinking, Dick Schaefer gives out this list of questions to parents who attend with their children. "I tell the kids, 'Parents are given this list of questions at the hospital when you're born. They have the right to ask you these questions—and get the answers from you—until you're 18."

5 Things Every Parent Has the Right to Know:
Where are you going?
What are you doing?
Who will you be hanging out with?
How will you get home?
What time will you be home?

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Elisabeth Wilkins is the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of one son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.


Thank you. I think the information on teenage drinking is helpful. More importantly though, I think the suggested actions for parents to take when they have a teenager misusing or abusing alcohol is terrific. Many times I am frustrated because I do not know what to do or say. The guidelines listed give me a clear course of action to take with my teenagers.

Comment By : acrosea

This is the first time I've read an article about teenage drinking that has had real and practical advice for parents. Excellent! In all ways, it's excellent.

Comment By : Lisa

In this generation teenagers are NOT popular if they don't drink. Parents think it is OK to have parties at home for them, allowing drinking if they spend the night, taking keys, etc. Teenagers become loners in High School if they don't what other alternatives do they have to be in the IN group? Cheerleaders, sports activities, you name it they all drink. Parents and schools need to get a tighter grip on our new generation to educate them of the effects that alcohol will play in their lives. It doesn't stop at high school it will continue through out their life.

Comment By : Mary...St.Louis, Mo.

The idea of contracts seems good, until the kid actually realizes that you have no power to actually enforce them. Yes, you can take away a cell phone or a computer, but my kid deems these consequences as livable. Curfew? Well, what can I do if my kid choses not to come home? Or chooses not to do the chores assigned as a consequence of his behavior? We already don't let him drive. He's 17 so living at home and going to school aren't privileges (they're punishments in the eyes of a 17 year old!). He's figured out, and even told the counselor we were taking him to, that there's not really a whole lot we can do if he chooses to break our rules.

Comment By : Valerie

I thought the article was very informative and helpful. I'm wondering about the response by Valerie...I would like to hear how her situation would be best handled. Is there a place to go to see "Responses" that I don't know about?

Comment By : Antoinette

I really feel that we are a little out of touch with our kids and how smart they really are. My daughter is in 5th grade and she has DARE and has reviewed the "contract" with us and has commited herself to upholding these rules to the best of her ability. She has also told us that most kids think these rules are a joke and they just go along with them to "get along" with the teachers and adults. They are one step ahead and we need to make better adustments to these rules and contracts. Some of these kids are awsome kids and come from great families but they want to be the best and be popular. Most just want to get through these years so they can be adults. Being young is so hard now with all the emphasis on being perfect (the right clothes, the right hair, the right shape, the right toys and games) I tell my child everyday that she is beautiful and smart and talented. She still looks to her friends for acceptence and I want to cry because she sometimes thinks she needs to be different and wants to change something about herself. We need to get out there and REALLY see the world our kids a living in, not the world as we see it. As far as drinking and drugs well I guess we have to show them that we love them and be there for them when they ask, but I think they will go to their friends first.(sad to say) But just to be clear, I have great kids and love and listen to them. They are happy and pretty successful in their endeavors. I am one of they lucky parents and have been trying to raise them with all I know, but I know once in awhile I miss something and I have to live with that.

Comment By : York, Maine

I just want to thank you for having this information here for anyone to learn from. I come from a family where I had parents but no one parenting me. Now as an adult I do not know how to parent my own children. Reading these articles help me learn more. Thanks

Comment By : Monique

Many schools have started a program called "every 15 seconds" (or something like that) It stages an accident on campus, of cars from an actual drunk driving accident- certain students are asked to participate (parents are involved also it reinacts an alcahol/drug related accident, in which thier friends, end up being killed, or hurt in the hopsital. The "reaper" comes into the classroom, and removes kids as they "die" as a result of thier irresponsible behavior. Check with your local school district office, the police department or your local association for MADD. Its powerful. Don't be weak and give up- expend ALL of your resources. It does require you to take action and actually do something. Everything you do towards informing does make a difference and does get stored in thier brains. You may not see it today, but it is filed away, and may be what saves thier life someday.

Comment By : Karen

Good article but age of consent is 14. They can move out at 16 and apparently we are responsible for their troubles. Boy they do have it figured. They need firm rules and love I know ours will for a few more years especially when ADD or ADHD are involved. He is 16 and tried it all.

Comment By : worn out

From one parent to another drinking is not the only thing that teens are abusing. We live in Simi Valley, California, and teens are abusing prescription drugs. Its a big thing out here to buy, steal or sell prescription drugs. My son was caught with what they call xanax-bar. These pills are triple the dose of an average prescription, and kids are taking multiple pills at one time to get a high.Along with taking the pills they are drinking. When my son was pulled over by police for having his highbeams on the police called me and ask me to pick him up. They have found these xanax-bars in his pocket but they did not do anything about it. The Police said they check to see if he was under the influence and with a breath analysis and he was negative so they let him go. I told them to test his blood and they said it was not necessary. Clearly my son was high on prescription drugs but the Police looked past it. I was so upset that the police annoyed it, and I took action. I give my son consequences and when he broke those I was able to get him placed in Juvenille Hall. As heartbreaking as it was to see my son arrested, and the fact that he had to spend his 17th birthday in Juvenille Hall, my heart told me it was the best thing for him. He spent 22 days locked up, and he hated me for it, but I would rather know that I did something about it then to let him get worse. Today is has to attend Drug classes twice a week, anger management once a week, and family counseling once a week. On top of that he has to maintain good grades, and attendance, or he will go back. He has been placed on Formal Probation, and if he messes up he will be put back in Juvenille Hall for a min. period of 30-60 up to 1 year.Since then he has admitted to me that he was taking pills everyday and he thinks that it was a good thing that I took action. He told me kids can get any drug they want, and pills are everywhere. The pills that my son took where, vicodin, somas, xanax-bar, Oxy's, Methodone, loratabs, and pot. I thought I was doing my job as a parent and always looking for signs of drug abuse. But what fooled me is I was looking for alcohol, and Pot, never suspecting pills.So please parent lock up your prescriptions that you may have because your kids may be fooling you. I don't even have prescriptions in my home so I never even thought about those drugs.Remember, you can't be a buddy right now to your teens, we have to be a parent. But pick your battles because we don't want them to closed entirely down to us. Trust me, my son now is finally talking to me without being angry. I feel like I am finally getting my son back. Be strong! Thank you God!...

Comment By : Tough Love is hard work!

From what I hear from other parents, many will disagree with what I have to say here. I'm 56 , and grew up in a "sheltered" home. But I learned I could do all kinds of things when I was away from my parents' watchful eyes, so I did. I see the exact same patterns in my brother, and each of my 4 children. We are lonely people, so we do anything to be accepted, no matter how foolish, shameful, or disgraceful. Loneliness has it's own kind of crushing pain. Some people will be accepted by a group for "going along with them" - others will still be rejected and ostracized. Then substances become a temporary escape from loneliness and shame (sexual sin has the same value). Some comments reveal that parents see that their kids know that they are truly beyond your control, even though the advice is excellent. I have finally become convinced that my children despise my hypocrisy in not having as high of moral expectations for myself as I do for them - that's reasonable. Even so, they will still be tempted to experience things for themselves that seem to fill their desire for youthful lusts, energies, and connectedness. Even if a person sets good moral standards, and lives by those same standards themselves, it appears to me that I can't find a peer group that doesn't involve themselves in some kind of vice - and many parents of those young people are quick to deny for their children that their kids and their kids friends are involved in those things. (yes, mothers - I realize your daughters are all on contraceptives to regulate their menstrual cycles). I'm not trying to pick on anyone in saying this, but if a parent is honest enough to admit that their kid is getting into trouble, they seem to become the scapegoat of other parents who deny their own kids' irresponsibility, so it seems to be a vicious circle. As Dr. Lehman pointed out, much of behavioural psychology thrives on giving people excuses for negative habits, instead of demanding responsible behaviour. Our prisons can't come near to holding all the people who live irresponsible lives. I am one who is suffering consequences of a lifetime of irresponsible choices, and I can clearly see it in others who make the same kind of choices, no matter what the psychologists and statistics say (usually based on what people will admit to). I really appreciate the work and HONESTY that Dr. Lehman and his collegues are involved in for our children, and those who show that they are concerned about how their children conduct their lives, even though the deck is stacked against them in so mahy ways. Keep on encouraging us to do what's right, instead of what's popular, or easy!

Comment By : slowmocha

I was in court this morning with my 17 year old son. The charge was a probation violation, and the violation was underage drinking. He was placed on probation for breaking and entering and having pot. The day after the final court hearing for this, when all his community service was done and all that remained was a probationary period, a curfew and to remain drug and alcohol free, he left the house, got drunk and broke into cars. His response was that he was too drunk to remember breaking into the cars, but that he doesn't have an alcohol problem. He says he drinks because it's fun to get drunk. He has lost his license, will remain in the court system under some type of supervision until he is 18, and still this is not enough. I have had him in drug treatmeant and he insists he doesn't need help. It is terrifying to watch him self destruct. Most importantly, parents need to watch for abuse of legal things-becuase that is what he is doing now, to circumvent the law and his probation. Nyquill, diet pills, morning glory seeds, yes, these flower seeds get kids high, and cold medicines are things I've found in his room. Be aware of these things-they are just as dangerous and lead to further abuse. I don't think he'll wake up until he is locked up. I only pray it happens while he is still a juvenile.

Comment By : Kathleen

Great article. I'm going to send to all my friends with teens and pre-teens in teh house!

Comment By : Joel

I can relate to Kathleen's post almost verbatim - my 17-year-old son was arrested for shoplifting - non drug-related - and placed on unsupervised probation for one year. After community service and staying out of trouble, all charges will be dropped. Yet he still insists on wanting to party and smoke marijuana - when he gets caught for that, he just turns to other "legal" drugs as she mentioned. We're starting to work this program and will be attending an 8-week parent/teen behavior contract class soon. Although we have rules and consequences, he seems to not care about paying the price. It's as if we haven't upped the ante enough to make him afraid of the consequences. I'm not sure how to get something strong enough to make him stop and think about his choices first. And there is seldom if any remorse afterwards. I don't know how far he will have to go before he sees the light and it is frightening as a parent to not be able to stop this spiral. We're looking for information and advice on where we need to be and at the same time trying to make sure he knows the rest is up to him - it's a hard line to draw sometimes. As another post said, when they decide they don't want to follow the rules and the consequences have no impact, where do you go from there? Maybe we're not far enough along in the program yet and we'll learn the right way to do the meantime, we're just trying to take one day at a time and get through as best we can.

Comment By : jennablon

in the last section of this article you said that parentshad the right to know those five important thing UNTIL the child is 18. my son is 18 and just started drinking and wanting to go out with friends who drink. we do not give our permission and since he lives at home and will do his first year of college at home (because his grades were not good enough to get into any school other than community college - although he is very intelligent) we feel we also have a right to ask those questions. am i wrong?

Comment By : Lara

I would like the answer to all of what Jennablon had to say.

Comment By : Maggie

Thank you for this article. I just found out last night that my son has been using pot and has been drinking. I have been sick all day wondering what is the best thing I can do for him. This has really giving me some insight.

Comment By : Stacy

I appreciate the support of all the parents and caretakers, but I'm still not sure what to do. My 14 year old nieces pushes every limit she can. My sister watches over her, talks openly about alcohol, drugs, sex, and yet my niece still lies and drinks. She's in therapy, had school involvement, no help. My sister is concerned that the underlying issue of not dealing with tough situations won't be addressed in an alcohol day program. More importantly, she's not confident she can get my niece in the car twice a week to go. As a single mom, she's worn out. My niece is too smart and she's hurting herself along the way. What to do??

Comment By : Frustrated

ok im a teen and im just reading this for fun but a lot of the stuff i would have to agree with. (DRUG and ALCOHOL free btw)im sick of kids in my school drinking and getting high, but your #'s are a little off. i"ve seen kids getting drunk younger and even started a senior run program to help younger kids in the high school to make the right choices. DEAR PARENTS, from a teens perspective your NUMBER ONE mistake is ACCEPTING AND GIVING IN to the fact that your kid drinks or dose drugs, once you say "ok but only drink a little" its all down hill from there. don't ever go there!!!!! i've seen it happen. k im out PEACE

Comment By : THEbalmDIGITY

This is a very good article. I have 16 yr old son w/mood disorder ADHD & ODD & because he could not navigate socially & resposibly we sent him to Wilderness School & then a therapuetic boarding school. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, & the expense was enormous, but only a 24/7 program helped. We were afraid that he may have started to experiment, espcially with alcohol, but also that he was seriously at risk, even though he was not an substance abuser. he told us later our suspicions were correct, & we learned that some kids need a more extreme regime to "get it", learn to manage their own issues, develop confidence to make sound & responsible choices. he's almost finished, & I cannot believe how he's learning to deal w/others, with the acceptance by other kids & dveloping confidence. Many kids at his school in Utah are substance abusers and many are there subsidized by the state if they have IEPs from school districts. I heard there is a Coast Guard program as well.I knew my child at 14 was at risk even tho he had never gotten into trouble. Taking action ASAP is key, & I am trusting his "education" will help him make good choices.

Comment By : Pattilou22

I am definitely for drug and alcohol testing in schools.These kids are to out of control so now its time to take away some of there privileges.Some kids are feared for retaliation.Parents try to watch out for their future as not to get a record and then they may not be able to get a job, then we have them home all the time.its a vicious cycle.

Comment By : Irene

I am for drug and alcohol testing at home, in school..... I just recently was Sherlock Holmes and found a bag of pot in a friend of my 16 year old sons overnight bag. I sent his friend home after telling his parents what I found, and have taken away my sons cell phone, and am not allowing him to get his drivers license. He is going to have a hair analysis and I am going to find a wildness program for him this coming summer instead of the football camp he was going to attend. I spoke to his teachers and coaches and it is tough love all the way!!!!! He is very angry with me (his Mom) and has knick-named me "snoop dog". That is too bad. I am sick and tired of hearing about the drugs and dealing with drugs. The drug dealers are getting kids addicted earlier and earlier. I read these articles and wonder when America is going to finally take a stand against these terrorists that are preying on our children, destroying families and communities. It is so sad to think that our kids cannot grow up trusting anyone, and parents have to spend their life savings not only on taxes but drug programs. RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!

Comment By : cat

all these situations are so in par with my son's who just turned 16 what is a parent to do, I do not believe prison to be aplace to help it only covers the situation but the abuse is still there, my son is currently in detention and I am hoping to get him some councilling I know we will fight me everystep of the way. People say he has to make the change I pray everyday that he is willing to try.

Comment By : elaine

I find that so MANY parents today do NOT commit enough time to their kids due to job related responsiblities. Its crazy as our children are our FUTURE and if we don't take care of our own kids, NOBODY else will. I have an adopted son and he is a wonderful boy but he was born ADDICTED to Everything you can imagine and now we have to really work with him daily to make sure that he becomes the BESt adult that he can be. We have speech tutoring for him and its wonderful. I truly believe in SIT DOWN family dinners, EVERY night as this is where we talk and open up as a family unit. My daughter just loves sitting downn all together to eat and talk about her day. NOTHING is MORE important than the family unit. I think that if we as a society were more committed to this and less concerned about MONEY, our young people would be so much better off.

Comment By : Maximus

My daughter has straight A's in school; is on the A honor roll and is in line to become the valedictorian of her class. I just found out she drinks on the weekends (she comes in at the midnight curfew that we set). So what do I do?

Comment By : aMayzing

How do you find a good marijuana treatment program for a teen? I don't even know where to start. It's summer so I can't approach the school counselor and I feel lost. I really want to help my son

Comment By : freakedout

* Dear ‘freakedout’: We’re sorry to hear your family is experiencing this. We do have a contact number to recommend. Call the Partnership for a Drug-Free America toll-free at 866-281-9945 for information on local resources. The parent’s help line is available Mon-Fri from 6AM to 8PM. For more parent information on handling substance use in your family, log on to We wish your family the best.

Comment By : Carole Banks, Parental Support Line Advisor

Informative article! I like how there are different "contracts" if each are broken. It is also important to keep open lines of communication between you and your teen, in order for them to be comfortable about speaking to you.

Comment By : CleanLiving87

It is false to assume that ALL kids drink. I am a sophomore in college, an although a few of my close friends drink, more than half of us do not. In high school of course kids drank as well, but I knew numerous kids who respected their bodies enough to refrain from the activity. I believe it comes down to the parenting (although I understand that some teenagers are certainly more rebellious than others). My parents made it clear that drinking alcohol is not respectful to my body, nor is it legal. A lot more teens feel this way than some of the previous posters make it seem. Many of my peers respected my group of friends for this decision, and even chose to pursue a life free of substance abuse, themselves. It is incorrect for parents and teens to assume that everyone participates in drinking alcohol, this is certainly not true and high school and college can be awesome without it!

Comment By : Maddy

To comment that as I agree with Maximus that families are forced to have both families out of the the house working to survive these days I would not let that fool you! I am a stay at home mom who have had the privilige of being with her children at home since they were born. We have sit down dinners every night where we have discussions and have at great lenghts and details discussed the effects of drugs and alcohol. We are a completely open family, we spend time together on the weekends all the time be going and doing outings like fishing and other outdoor activities with my boys. I am always monitoring the history on the computer and very diligent of how there friend are and checking who the parents are and meeting them. Which I feel a responsible parent is supposed to do and sometimes wonder if I am a little over the top! Until yesterday when my husband called my cell phone and told me he just found a bottle of Vodka in my 12 year old sons room!!! So moral is when you think your doing everything right you still have to look deeper I guess! Good on you Snoop Dog!

Comment By : heartbroken

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Responses to questions posted on are not intended to replace qualified medical or mental health assessments. We cannot diagnose disorders or offer recommendations on which treatment plan is best for your family. Please seek the support of local resources as needed. If you need immediate assistance, or if you and your family are in crisis, please contact a qualified mental health provider in your area, or contact your statewide crisis hotline.

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