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February 1985

Adolescent Drug Use-Reply

Author Affiliations

Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration 12-105 Parklawn Bldg 5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(2):113. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140040011004

In Reply.—Full response to the issues raised by Mr Rosenbloom would require more space than has been allocated. Two of his many points are especially important and I will limit my brief comments to them.

First, is the statement that "informed self-determination is a right not to be denied." This statement seems to assume that each individual may determine for himself what constitutes an adequate knowledge base and having done so has an absolute right to act. I think otherwise and feel strongly that this opinion, although widely held, is potentially very dangerous.

Does a 4-year-old who decides he knows how to cross a street have the right to do so? I believe not. Controls are not always to the liking of the preschooler or the adolescent but loving parents must balance their child's demands for freedom and "rights" against their own knowledge of risks. Intergeneration conflict about issues

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