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kids avoid drugs and alcohol. That is the message of a recent study conducted by a team of scientists from around the country at Brigham Young University, North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University and published in the Journal of Drug Issues. By examining and evaluating data collected from more than 10,000 students, parents, teachers and school administrators from around the country, the researchers demonstrated that the quality and character of a child’s home environment and family are typically far more powerful than the school environment in determining whether or not the child will drink or use marijuana. The researchers stressed the importance of forming close bonds between parents and children. The announcement of the study findings offers optimism for parents who feel concern or even apathy over their ability to instill positive values in their children and to divert them from engaging in substance abuse. These feelings are experienced by many parents. No matter how hard parents try to warn their children about the dangers of drinking and using drugs, many teens and young adults still go ahead and do these things, often with tragic results. An example of how widespread teen drug abuse has become is a survey conducted by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy which found that more than one-third of American high school seniors had used marijuana in the past year. It can be assumed that most, if not all, of these students’ parents had warned them against drug abuse. Apparently, however, such efforts on the part of parents are not in vain, as the research data demonstrated conclusively that children are less likely to drink or consume drugs when they enjoy significant “social capital” in the home. In examining for “social capital” at home, the researchers examined for qualities including trust, free communication and active participation in the parent-child relationship. For social capital at school, they raised questions about whether a school campus provided a positive environment, how much students took part in extracurricular activities, the morale of teachers and the ability of teachers to handle their students problems. Ideally of course, both the home and school environments would provide abundant social capital, but the researchers found that the home was far more important. In fact, students who had a supporting and engaged home life but a poor school environment were less likely to use marijuana or alcohol, while those with an unstable home life yet a positive school environment were more likely to do so. <a href="http://www.vistabay.com/blog/substance-abuse-and-racial-bias-linked.php">Vista Bay rehab</a> experts report that there is no way to guarantee that a teenager will never drink or try drugs, but he or she is apparently far less likely to make these mistakes when the parents have done their job of providing a stable home life and of building a strong relationship with the child. If you are like most parents and feel concern over whether your children will make the right choice when offered alcohol or drugs, you can take solace in the fact that you--as a parent--have the power to make a large difference in the outcome of such a situation. You will likely not be there when it happens, but if your children know that you love them, know that they have support at home and feel compelled to earn and maintain your trust, it is more likely that your presence will be felt and that your children will do the right thing.