Summer may be a time for teens to experience new internships, jobs, and more time outdoors, but a new study also reveals that this is also the time of year that teens are prone to using or experimenting with drugs.

By Sugey Palomares

A study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that people are more likely to use party drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and molly, during summer months. Specifically, research suggests that marijuana and cocaine use have a 30% uptick in use during summer months.

Dr. Joseph Palamar, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of population health at the NYU School of Medicine, told a local Fox network that teens with unsupervised idle time are especially at risk. “People aren’t working like crazy,” he said, and “if you’re going out, maybe just because of the warmer weather, you might be hanging out with people more.”

What Can Parents Do?

Here are some tips for preventing drug use in teens during summer months.

Know who your teen is spending the most time with: Your teens crowd is important. “Understand where teenagers are, who they’re spending time with, where they’re physically located, and what they’re doing when they’re away from home, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Scott Hadland, shared with NPR.

Keep your child busy: Activities are so important to keep your child too preoccupied to even be tempted to try drugs. According to Narconon, setting goals within these activities also has value in the eyes of a teenager.

Talk to Your Teen: Break the ice by presenting the study and asking unfiltered questions about drug use. Be clear about consequences and loss of certain privileges if they cross the line. Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman has previously stated that youth need to understand that they’ll be held accountable for negative choices.

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