Parents who report using illicit drugs: findings and implications from the DRUGNET study

Psychol Rep. 2001 Feb;88(1):245-51. doi: 10.2466/pr0.2001.88.1.245.


In recent years, a national discussion has emerged concerning what parents should tell their children about their own past drug use. DRUGNET is an ongoing, on-line survey of successful, healthy, adults who occasionally use illicit drugs. This paper reviews data from a subset of this survey, namely, those respondents who were parents with self-reported use of at least one illicit drug. The sample (n = 325) was predominantly white men who reported having above average education and household incomes. Their mental health as measured by the General Well-being Schedule was similar to the national norm. Respondents reported using drugs to manage parental stress and expressed concerns over how to communicate with their children and legal risks related to their own drug use. The limitations and the implications of these data are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Illicit Drugs