Do family dinners reduce teen substance abuse? Restaurant, prevention groups aim to get message out

July 28, 2017

CEDAR CITY — Several studies have shown that when kids eat dinner with their family they are less likely to drink alcohol, use illicit drugs and smoke. This is the message the Iron County Prevention Coalition, Parents Empowered and Charlie’s Southern Barbecue are trying to get out through a recent restaurant design campaign and customer appreciation day event Saturday.

Don’t just turn on the TV

According to a study from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the magic bullet when it comes to the success of family dinners is the interaction between family members.

Teens who shared dinner with their families were more likely to report an “excellent” relationship with their mother and father, the study said. Teens who reported a “less than very good” relationship with their parents had greater tendencies to engage in high-risk behavior than their peers who reported excellent relationships, including:

  • Approximately 3-4 times more likely to have used marijuana.
  • Approximately 2-2.5 times more likely to have used alcohol.
  • 2.5 times more likely to have used tobacco.

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