The teenage and young adult years is a period of great change across many domains. It is during this time period where young people experience substantial changes physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically. In addition to these changes, many young people also experience greater stresses and expectations in both their family situations as well as environmental stresses such as peer pressure. These heightened expectations and stresses along with the myriad of personal changes that are occurring have the potential for teenagers to turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a means to cope with these changes.
The facts regarding teenage drug abuse are concerning and as parents it is important to bring this issue to the forefront. Some statistics concerning teenage drug abuse include the following:
- In a study published in the fall of 2012 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, it was reported that 17% of high school students reported they smoked, drank alcohol, or used drugs during the school day, even on school grounds.
- 15% of 8th graders had reported they tried marijuana and by senior year of high school that percentage increased to 43%.
- 7.6% of teens use Adderall.
- 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States is from underage drinkers.
While these teenage drug abuse facts are alarming, these drug facts regarding substance abuse in teenagers can also act as an impetus for parents to respond in a healthy and proactive manner in relation to communicating with their own teenagers.
The Importance of Catching Drug Abuse in Teenagers Early
Currently in the United States teenagers who are abusing drugs are using a myriad of substances. While alcohol abuse among teenagers has remained constant, some other substances that are commonly abused among teenagers include the following:
- Prescription Drugs (including Adderall and Xanax)
- Heroin (use has increased with the stricter regulations and higher prices of opiates such as Oxycontin)
While the drug abuse facts and statistics for teenagers are alarming in the percentage of teenagers who use drugs and the substances that are being abused, it is important that drug abuse in this population is caught early. For example, the average age when boys first try alcohol and other drugs is 11 years of age while for girls the average age is 13. If drug abuse is not caught early, teenagers can experience significant cognitive, emotional and physical impairments that can have lasting impacts well into adulthood.
Having regular discussion with your teenager about the dangers of drugs and alcohol is an effective way to steer young people away from drug use. However, statistics regarding teen drug abuse has shown that only one in four teenagers reported their parents have had discussions with them regarding the dangers of drug abuse. Another place where parents can turn to are treatment centers that specialize in adolescent drug treatment and recovery. These drug treatment centers not only are excellent places to obtain relevant teenage drug abuse facts and other pertinent information, these centers can also provide counseling and treatment options that best address the unique needs of the adolescent population.
If you have further questions regarding teen drug abuse or are in need of further information about adolescent treatment options, please contact us toll-free at 1-855-470-2050.