Families and Relationships with Friends in the Genesis of Addiction in Adolescents
Background: friends play an important role in cigarette and cannabis usage during adolescence. However, the family is also a factor in exposing the adolescent to, or protecting them from, development of consumption. Experimentation with and consumption of these substances happens within a specific relationship configuration: that of a somewhat conflicting relationship between the young people and their parents. Methods: The study was conducted in the Paris area (France) among 15-18 year-olds enrolled in school, with whom we conducted 93 biographical interviews representing 483 person-years of a retrospective observation. Results: Consumption of cigarettes or cannabis is influenced by relationships with peers and meet-ups with friends, especially during weekends, or in the protective school environment. The relationship between adolescents consumption and parents attitude is two-way, consumption can be considered as much a cause of conflict as it is a consequence. Conclusions: First, the product-based approach (tobacco or cannabis) is less interesting than an approach of entry to addiction by life events. Secondly, the analysis of parent-adolescent conflicts and also of exits with friends seems to be powerful levers of action to prevent the entry into the use of cigarettes and cannabis.