Stats on Teen Drug Addiction (Guest Post) – Fort Behavioral Health
If you ask a teenager how many of their peers are using drugs, they might say that it seems like almost everyone is experimenting with drinking or smoking weed. If you asked a parent or teacher the same question, they might point out specific kids they suspect are trying drugs or drinking. So what is the truth about teenagers and drug use? Is teenage addiction running rampant in our communities, or are teenagers today less likely to try illegal drugs or drink alcohol? If you are a parent or caregiver of a teenager, these might be questions that concern you. In order to learn the real facts about the stats on teen drug addiction, it is crucial to learn more about an adolescent addiction treatment program.
What Do the Numbers Say About Teen Drug Use?
There have been many long-term studies done about drug use and addiction in young people. Each year, various publicly-funded organizations conduct surveys and studies that monitor drug use and drinking in children under the age of 18. Some stats on teen drug addiction are:
- The three most-used substances among teenagers are alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana
- Young people with mental health issues are more likely to use illegal substances.
- Teenagers use drugs or drink alcohol for a variety of reasons – “fitting in” is only one of those reasons.
- Young people are more likely to abuse prescription or over-the-counter medicines than street drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.
Why Do Teens Start Using Drugs?
No one starts out wanting to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, teenagers are especially vulnerable to the various pressures and challenges that can lead to substance abuse. Adolescent substance abuse treatment programs are filled with young people whose families love and support them but have gotten into trouble with drugs or alcohol. Some of the reasons why teens use drugs and alcohol include:
- To fit in with friends, also known as peer pressure
- To keep up with schoolwork, extracurriculars, and the pressures of education
- To relieve symptoms of a mental health issue, sometimes undiagnosed
- Because they are curious and hungry for new experiences
- Because using drugs and drinking can feel good at first
How Can I Know if My Teenager Is at Risk for Addiction?
The most important thing you can do to help you know if your child is headed for trouble is to talk to your child. Ask them direct, specific questions about their friends and what happens at school. Have honest, frank discussions about drug and alcohol use and what your expectations are. Teenagers are not always the most interested in confiding in adults, but make sure that they know that they can always come to you for help or advice.
Studies have suggested that there can be a genetic component to substance abuse and addiction, and there is certainly the need for adolescent drug addiction treatment. If you or any members of your family have struggled with addiction or alcoholism or have experienced any mental health conditions, it would be wise to watch out for any signs that your child may be entering into a similar situation.
Learn More About the Stats on Teen Drug Addiction Today
Again, be a good communicator. Talk to your child and make sure they know that their safety and health are your top priorities. The next most critical step is to reach out for help by contacting an adolescent addiction treatment program. Their staff will be able to provide guidance about what you can do to help your child. The best time to reach out for help is right away, so if you are concerned about your teen’s drug use, contact a licensed addiction treatment program today to learn more about how they can help your teen.