By Jim Schroeder
Families that eat together are less likely to have children who abuse illegal drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, according to Havre Mayor Bob Rice.
Rice is asking families to take time out of their day and eat together tonight for National Family Day a day for parents to eat dinner with their children.
Family Day was created by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Today will be the second year that it's been celebrated.
Last year, President Bush and 32 governors declared the fourth Monday of September as National Family Day, Rice said. But Gov. Judy Martz hasn't recognized the event.
Rice made a proclamation at the Havre City Council meeting last week to start Family Day in Havre.
"I felt it was a good thing and something a mayor should do," Rice said last week.
Surveys conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse have consistently found that children and teenagers who routinely eat twith their parents are far less likely to use illegal drugs, Rice said.
The correlation between family dinners and the reduced risk of teen substance abuse is well documented, and parental influence is known to be one of the most crucial factors in determining the likelihood of substance abuse by teenagers, Rice said.