Drug abuse among teens is not new, but it will always be a serious problem. Teenagers are still growing and developing and by using drugs they can cause real harm to their brains and their bodies. In addition to damage caused by the drugs, teens abusing substances are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and to become addicted. Know the drugs and alcohol facts and statistics to understand the extent of the problem.
What Drugs Are Teens Abusing?
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance by teens. There are a few reasons for this. More teens have access to alcohol than to illegal drugs. There also seems to be less risk associated with drinking. Because alcohol is a legal, although controlled, substance, teens do not necessarily realize the risks.
After alcohol, teenage drug use statistics show that prescription painkillers are the most abused substances. As with alcohol, teens associate this legal type of drug with a lower risk of harm than many other drugs. More than half (64 percent) of high school students have tried prescription painkillers to get a high.
Marijuana is the next most popular drug. According to the facts, 15 percent of all eighth-graders have at least tried marijuana. By senior year, that number has gone up to 43 percent. Half of all high school seniors have tried at least one type of drug. In addition to marijuana and painkillers, teens are using hallucinogens, synthetic marijuana, ecstasy and prescription stimulants.
Where Do Teens Get Drugs?
According to teen drug statistics, teenagers have easier access to drugs than many adults might believe. More than 60 percent of all teens say they know of drugs being kept at their schools and that they can buy drugs there. Prescription drug abuse has become more prevalent in recent years because of access and availability. The teens who report using prescription painkillers say they came from a friend or from a family member. Teens take drugs out of their home medicine cabinets and either sell or give them away to friends at school.
What Are the Risks of Teen Drug Abuse?
Teenagers who abuse drugs or alcohol are putting themselves at risk. Of particular concern is the growing abuse of prescription drugs. Part of the problem is that teens, and even their parents, fail to recognize just how dangerous these drugs are. Many people falsely believe that the drugs are low risk simply because they can be prescribed by a doctor.
Teenage drug abuse statistics indicate that more teens die from abusing prescriptions than from any illegal drug. There are more teen deaths from these prescription painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined. It is easy to overdose on prescription painkillers, but it is also easy to become addicted. For those teens who do not die from abusing them, the risks of battling a lifelong addiction are great. By learning the facts about these drugs and about how teens are using them, we are all more empowered to help save lives.
Increase Your Knowledge On Teen Drug And Alcohol Facts And Stats