September 19, 2008 CONTACT: Gary Eckenberg, Deputy Administrator
St. Louis County Courthouse
Duluth, MN 218-726-2447
For Immediate Release:
Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children
The use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and nicotine constitute the greatest threats to the well-being of America's children. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University launched Family Day in 2001 after CASA's research consistently found that the more often children eat dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs.
In recognition of this research, on Tuesday, September 23rd, the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners will pass a proclamation declaring September 29, 2008 as Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children. The goal of this proclamation is to bring awareness to the need for children to connect with their parents through regular family dinners as the most effective preventive and protective means to ensure a healthy teenage population.
While routine family dinners may seem a simplistic answer to the problems of today’s teens, the research shows that teenagers who virtually never eat dinner with their families are 72% more likely than the average teenager to use illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, while teenagers who almost always eat dinner with their families are 31% less likely than the average teenager to use illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. The correlation between family dinners and reduced risk for teen substance abuse is well documented with parental influence known to be one of the most crucial factors in determining the likelihood of substance abuse by teenagers.
Family dinners have long constituted a substantial pillar of family life in America. In 2007, the President, all 50 state governors, and the mayors and executives of more than 750 cities and counties across the nation proclaimed or supported “Family Day” initiatives.
The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners will add its voice to the national observance of Monday, September 29, 2008 as Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with your Children, and urges all citizens to recognize and participate in its observance, and to continue this essential family tradition for the health of our youth.
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