With the onset of summer, teens are going to have a lot more free time on their hands. WHSV found out that might not be a good thing for many of them.
"For the Harrisonburg High School band we're doing a band camp to get ready for the new year," says high-schooler Jonathan Rodeffer.
"I'm going to be going over to California for like a month going to watch a few baseball games and stuff in California," says Stephen Wean.
Many teenagers have plans for the summer. But some don't do much of anything except hang out with friends. And a new study shows that could lead to dangerous consequences.
"The kids that I talk with when I'm doing evaluations I always ask them when was your first use and how did you get started and most of them say they started in the summer months," says Dr. Dick Wettsone, a licensed professional counselor.
National drug control policy officials say first-time marijuana use spikes during the summer. Research shows every summer day will find about 58-hundred teens who use marijuana for the 1st time.
"There's more idle time and less supervision typically," says Wettstone. "They're hanging out with their friends more."
Dr. Wettstone says he's seen kids as young as 10 or 11 that abuse drugs. He says parents are the key to keeping kids off that path.
"It's a challenge for parents to be on top of this thing, especially if they're single parents working full time and they don't have the money to send their kid to an all-day supervised activity," says Wettstone.
Dr. Wettstone says the most important thing parents can do is talk to their kids about drugs. Wettstone says parents should always know "where" their kids are and find out who their friends are.