high frequency of alcohol, stimulant, and marijuana use in early adulthood. “The kids who felt that their parents were very laid back about detecting drug and alcohol use were the kids that turned to experiment the most,” Luthar said. “Now, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that kids will stop using if their parents are very strict, they may not carry six-packs of beer around but they can still find ways. I don’t think it is wise to tell parents to be extremely strict in their consequences. The message really is: don’t be overly strict or punitive, but at the same time, don’t take it lightly that your child may be experimenting with drugs or alcohol.”
The researchers stated that more investigations are needed to assess the nature of substance use among affluential youth in other areas of the country, but Luthar highlighted it’s important for parents as well as teens to understand that early abuse can have lasting repercussions.
“Don’t dismiss [substance use] as just something that all kids do and settle down when they get out of high school or college. Perhaps many or even most of them will settle down, but the truth with substance use is that the earlier you start using and the more frequently you use, after starting early, the more likely it will become a problem or an addiction of some sort.”