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New Salem - October 29, 2008

Counselor’s Corner

© 2008 Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School

National Red Ribbon Week!

Want to help your children to stay free of illegal drugs?

Want to help your children be better equipped to say “No” to illegal drug usage? Then read on.

A recent long-term study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) followed 12 year olds to age 21. The study focused on how peer, family, and, sociodemographic factors affected the influence of drug initiation. The study found that the following have big impacts on student drug usage:

Family monitoring and rules

Family influence

Family bonding, and

Influence of teen peers.

The study found that “Higher levels of family monitoring and rules were associated with a ‘significantly ‘ lower risk of illicit drug initiation. Youths with low levels of family monitoring and rules at age 18 were twice as likely (14 percent versus 7 percent) to use illicit drugs as those with high family monitoring.

The same was true for a higher level of moderate and consistent family discipline. Youths with low consistent family discipline were twice as likely at age 18 to use illicit drugs as those with consistently high family discipline.”

Family bonding is another powerful influence according to the study. In families where children at age 15 do not have a strong bond with the parents, illicit drug usage is 3 times higher than in families where there is a strong healthy bond.

Students who associate with peers who have high levels of antisocial activity are 4 times as likely to use illicit drugs.

I hope parents and students who read this have a better understanding of what to expect from each other in staying drug free!

The above information is from a Rimrock Foundation Fact Sheet. If you would like a copy, stop by my office or visit The Rimrock Foundation website at Once there select “Resources” and then select “Fact Sheets.” The article title is “Teen Substance Abuse.” One can also call the Rimrock Foundation at 1-800-227-3953.

If you have any questions on careers, counseling, or assessment topics, please either go to or contact me at New Salem High School at 843-7610, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!