Teen Drug Abuse Statistics

An adolescent’s brain is also not fully developed, which can impact their decision-making and lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. This can cause a teen to feel lifeless and unable to enjoy the things they used to enjoy. Drugs can also make teens more compulsive and cause them to continuously seek out the drug again and again.

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It’s important to know the difference between drug abuse and addiction. Although any type of medication has the potential to be abused, certain groups of prescription drugs are most commonly abused. The first stage is described as access to drugs but no use thereof. In that stage, minimizing the risk factors that make a teenager more vulnerable to using drugs is an issue.

Teens Who Use Drugs and Alcohol Are More Likely to Do So as Adults

Risk of SUD also increases during times of transition, such as changing schools, moving, or parent divorce. Co-Occurring Disorders –substance issues are often only half the story. Underlying mental health problems plague millions of kids, and tend to either result in addictions to drugs or alcohol.

What Causes Adolescent Drug Use?

There are many reasons, some simple and seemingly harmless, and others that show a deeper problem that needs to be addressed. It can be as simple as just wanting to try something, as teens move into the ages where testing limits is very common. But it has more consequences than a toddler reaching for a snack. Enjoying the taste of a substance, such as flavored nicotine or alcohol, ranks pretty high on their lists of reasons they have used. Boredom, anxiety, and depression are other specific reasons that teens have given for taking drugs. Situations that put them at risk include not having an active adult in their life or any consequences for behaviors.

Both mental health disorders and substance abuse issues increase the risk of suicide in teens. Additionally, if drugs are misused, the person is at risk of accidental fatal overdose. Alcohol and drug use across the nation is a problem among all age groups, including teens, adolescents, and young adults. Teens, like adults, use a wide range of illegal drugs and prescription medications including tranquilizers, Xanax, Ritalin, LSD, marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs recreationally. Unfortunately, many teens who engage in teenage and young adult substance use will go on to develop a substance use disorder.

What are the symptoms and warning signs of drug abuse?

teen drug abuses who feel supported and loved are also more likely to stop experimenting with drugs or seek help if they have an addiction. Teens who abuse drugs may have a greater risk of developing an addiction when they are adults. Up to 7 million people, or 2.8% of the U.S. population age 12 or older, had used prescription medications for nonmedical purposes in the month prior to the survey. The final and most serious fifth stage of drug use is defined by the youth only feeling “normal” when they are using. Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only.

If you notice any signs of addiction in your teen, now is the time to reach out to a professional. There is help for teenagers who are misusing drugs or alcohol, but the longer the substance abuse continues, the harder it will be for your child to recover over the long-term. One of the most commonly abused prescription drugs is Adderall, a stimulant usually prescribed for teens diagnosed with ADHD.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for Teens

The average age of first marijuana use is 14, and alcohol use can start before age 12. The use of marijuana and alcohol in high school has become common. Dr. Thomas received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. In his post-graduate clinical work, Dr. Thomas later applied the tenets he learned to help guide his therapeutic approach with many patients in need of substance treatment. A professional can help you assess the situation and determine any next steps to take and if teen drug rehab is necessary.

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