East Providence Prevention Coalition reminds parents Monday is ‘Family Dinner Day’

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Prevention Coalition reminds all East Providence parents that Monday, Sept. 23, is “Family Dinner Day.”

According to The Importance of family dinners VII, a report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia), teens who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are almost four times likelier to use tobacco, more than twice as likely to use alcohol; two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and almost four time likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future than teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week).

The CASA Columbia family dinners report states that teens who have infrequent family dinners are likelier to say they have ready access to alcohol, prescription drugs (without a prescription in order to get high) or marijuana. Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners, those who have infrequent family dinners are more likely to be able to get alcohol, prescription drugs or marijuana in an hour or less. In contrast, teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to report having no access to such drugs.

According to CASA Columbia reports, approximately 58 percent of teens report having dinner with their families at least five times a week, a proportion that has remained consistent over the past decade.

Family Day is a national movement launched by CASA Columbia in 2001 to remind parents that frequent family dinners make a difference. Celebrated on the fourth Monday in September—Family Day promotes parental engagement as a simple and effective way to reduce children’s risk of smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. What began as a small grassroots initiative has grown to become a nationwide celebration which is expected to once again be proclaimed and supported by the president, all 50 U.S. governors and the mayors and executives of more than 1,000 cities and counties.

For conversation starters, activity kids and more information about Family Day visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org.  For more information about the East Providence Prevention Coalition, call 401-435-1923 or email jwall@cityofeastprov.com.

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