Columbia University reports that teens who eat dinner with their families less than three times a week are twice as likely to use tobacco or participate in teen marijuana use and are more than one in a half times as likely to drink than teens who eat dinner with their families five or more times per week. Those who have dinner with their families less than three times a week where distractions are present, such as texting and talking on the phone, are more than three times as likely to use marijuana. Those teens who have fewer family dinners are also one and a half times more likely to have friends that use prescription drugs, meth, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy. Also, 12-13 year olds who have infrequent family dinners are more than six times more likely to use marijuana.
In today’s times, it is difficult to imagine getting everyone together for dinner, but the study emphasizes the importance of a specific time set aside for talking and being together. My household was extremely busy growing up. With both parents working and my siblings and me in all kinds of after-school activities, it was a wonder we saw each other at all. Also, with my drug use, getting together with the family was a pretty unpleasant time for everyone. Fortunately, in teen drug rehab, my whole family was able to benefit from treatment. I, of course, was in an intensive inpatient program in Malibu, but my family got to get help too through family counseling in Bakersfield. As we rebuilt our family relationships, we planned on ways to reestablish closeness within our family. We try now to set aside time to be with each other. No cell phones. No facebook. We may not be the Cleavers, but we are slowly rebuilding our family closeness. In drug treatment, I got the help I needed to be a better child, and my family got what they needed so that we can all heal and be the best that we can be. Please click here for more info about adolescent drug and alcohol treatment .