Study Shows Teens with Larger Disposable Incomes More Likely To Use Drugs

A study commissioned by the Australian National Council on Drugs found that school students with $21-$60 a week in disposable income were 60 percent more likely to have used drugs in the past year than those with $20 or less. Students with more than $60 spending money a week were almost twice as likely to have used drugs than those with $20 or less. The study was reported in the Australian Herald Sun.

In the article, adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg urged parents to limit the money they gave teenagers. “We have known for a long time that children with a higher disposable income are more likely to try drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, simply because they can afford it,” Dr Carr-Gregg said.

He said children should be given $1 pocket money a week for every year of their age; so, for example, $10 a week for a 10-year-old.

Joe Tucci, of the Australian Childhood Foundation, recommended that parents talk to their children about what the money should and should not be used for.

“Once you have a framework, you can talk to children about what they shouldn’t spend their money on. For example, teenagers should not be spending money on alcohol,” Tucci was quoted as saying.

The report also found that Australia’s below-average academic performers were more likely to use drugs than their peers.

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