Teenagers who have easy access to drugs and alcohol in the home are more likely to drink and do drugs in their early and late 20s, according to new research.
The study, by Michigan State University’s Dr. Cliff Broman, also found that the effects were more significant among white people and males.
“While there have been many studies linking alcohol and drug use by parents to substance use among youths, there is limited research on how the availability of alcohol and drugs in the home may influence patterns of use among offspring in the future,” said Broman, a professor of sociology.
“These findings provide evidence that the availability of illegal drugs and alcohol in the home while growing up is a critical factor in the later use of substances.”
Broman analyzed data from about 15,000 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health when the survey participants were, on average, 16, 22, and 29 years old.
He found that participants who had illegal drugs and alcohol easily available to them during adolescence started using drugs and alcohol at an earlier age, and used drugs and alcohol more as they got older.
Male participants, who had alcohol and illegal drugs more available to them in the home during adolescence than female participants, subsequently drank and did drugs more in adulthood than females, the analysis found.
The study also found that whites were significantly more likely to use drugs and alcohol in adulthood than blacks, Hispanic and Asian participants. This was despite the fact that Hispanic and Asian participants generally had drugs and alcohol more easily available to them in the home during adolescence, according to the researcher.
The study appears in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse.
Source: Michigan State University
Photo: ‘These findings provide evidence that the availability of illegal drugs and alcohol in the home while growing up is a critical factor in the later use of substances,’ said Michigan State University sociologist Cliff Broman. Credit: Michigan State University.