Who Taught You to Drink?

closeup of a mans face with a beer bottle in his hands as he looks down sadly

Who Taught You to Drink?


Who Taught You to Drink?

iStock_000004443107Small
Who’s Watching You?
A new study by researchers at Sam Houston State University shows that children pick up the alcohol and drug use habits they see at home. The old ad was right: I learned it from watching you! The study compared parents who did not use substances like alcohol, marijuana or other illicit drugs and those who did.  The odds for drug use (marijuana or other drugs) were twice as high for the children if the parents used them. For alcohol, the odds that children would use alcohol were five times higher if their parents drank. The study was based on analyzing results from the National Youth Survey Family Study, which followed three generations over a 27-year period. The study helped pinpoint when the use of different substances peaks and declines. Alcohol use increases among adolescents and young adults, and then remains steady. Marijuana use peaks at or before age 24 and then drops off. April is Alcohol Awareness Month and that fivefold number is a pretty stark reminder to be aware. Keep that in mind with your drinking. Who is watching you? Who is learning from you—good or bad? One way or the other, your own drinking habits probably started from what you saw your parents do: You saw drinking and just started because that’s what people did. Even if you saw horrible behavior and awful consequences from people drinking when you were a child, you made excuses for it because you had to–because as a child, you can’t control who is taking care of you or make them quit drinking. Adults are in charge and they must know what they are doing. Otherwise, how can you ever be safe? As always, children learn what you don’t teach them. And those lessons may be the hardest to unlearn. Until you have someone explain to the child still inside you what was wrong about what you saw, you can’t heal. Stepping Stone can help. Our intake coordinators can talk to you about your alcohol use and get you help. Call us any time at 866-957-4960 for immediate help.