Did you know that almost 50% of high school students in the United States have admitted to abusing a substance of some kind?
Common substances abused among teens:
- Cigarettes or chewing tobacco
- Marijuana (“weed”)
- Cocaine (“coke”)
- Prescription Drugs
- Opiates or Narcotics (Heroin)
- “Club Drugs” (like Ecstasy)
- Stimulants (“meth”)
- Hallucinogens (“mushrooms” or “acid”)
Alcohol remains the number one abused substance among teenagers. Marijuana is the number one illegal drug that teens abuse.
What is teen substance abuse?
While many teens experiment with drugs, alcohol or tobacco use, not all kids that try these substances end up using them more than a few times. However, others cannot control their cravings and end up using the substance repeatedly. This is considered substance abuse.
How many teenagers need substance abuse treatment?
Each year the United States Government collects data on teenage drug and alcohol abuse. The national averages represent the teenagers from every background, ethnicity, religious belief and class…. And the statistics are shocking:
Teenage Drug Addiction. Over 1.1 million teens from the ages of 12 – 17 years old are addicted to drugs of some kind, and are in need of drug rehab.
Teenage Alcoholism. Over 1 million teens from the ages of 12 – 17 years old are considered alcohol dependent and in need of alcohol addiction treatment.
How are teenagers diagnosed with substance abuse or addiction?
There are a lot of warning signs that parents should be aware of, but it takes a medical professional to diagnose a teenager with a drug or alcohol addiction. If you have noticed a significant change to your child’s behavior, such as: severe mood swings, sudden loss of interest in hobbies or actives, problems at school, maintaining grades or loss in friends – you should seek professional help.
Most family doctors have been trained to make an initial assessment and recommend a screening for alcohol and other substances. This can include a questionnaire, urine or blood tests and a full psychiatric evaluation. If the screening indicates there is substance use or abuse, your doctor can then make recommendations for you to seek further treatment to help your teen recover from their addictions.