Smoking kills over 480,000 Americans each year, and 90% of smokers had their first cigarette before they were 18 years old. These two simple facts show why bringing down the number of teenage smokers is a big priority in the U.S. and around the world. One of the simplest ways to understand the extent of the problem is to compare teenage smoking rates in the U.S to those in the U.K.
Depression is the name for a group of mental health conditions common across the U.S. Most people associate the term with the most severe of these conditions, major depression. You may think of depressive illness as something that only comes with the burdens of adulthood. However, significant numbers of American teenagers grapple with these illnesses every day. Information provided by federal sources allows us to roughly estimate the extent of the problem in the country’s teen population.
When you are the parent of a teen, you will probably find that the behavior of your child during the adolescent years is filled with a lot of unpredictability. At times you may wonder if your teen’s odd behavior is a sign of experimenting with substances. A commonly abused substance is marijuana, and although it may be easy to tell if your teen is smoking pot, the signs of marijuana use are sometimes subtle. Here are some signs to look for.
Whether you have a teenaged son or daughter, you are a teacher of high school-aged youngsters or you are simply a concerned adult member of society, you should be aware of the problem of teens and drugs. Teen drug abuse facts are troubling and disturbing, especially if you never considered the issue before, but it is important to know about them. Only when you understand the facts can you work toward change. As a parent, you can help educate and influence your teen to make good choices. You can do the same as a teacher, and any adult can participate in prevention and education campaigns to help spare young lives from a grim future with drugs.
For teens who aren’t yet sure what they want to do with their futures but know they want to make a difference, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a suggestion: consider a career as an addiction or mental health counselor.
Teens use marijuana more than any other illicit substance. Its use comes in second only to alcohol when it comes to underage substance abuse. So if you think your teen might be smoking pot, you just might be right. There are some physical and behavioral signs that are specific to marijuana that you can look for, but a good general rule is to talk to your teen if you suspect he is using drugs. Never be afraid to bring up these difficult topics. Doing so could save your teen’s life.
Teenagers whose brains grow increasingly sensitive to rewarding sensations have a heightened chance of getting involved in substance use, according to recent findings from a group of American and Dutch researchers.
Despite the fact that prescription drug abuse among teens is a serious epidemic, the majority of parents do not talk to their children about the dangers of these drugs. Misconceptions, lack of information and complacency all conspire to lead many parents to ignore the threat of prescription drug abuse until it is too late.
Social media is big for teens. It’s a major way in which they interact with each other, and it can be positive. There are many downsides to social media use too, as many parents know, and substance abuse and mental health issues are two very important ones. Social media use can become obsessive in some teens and lead to a type of behavioral addiction. Cases of substance abuse as a result of peer pressure on social media sites are also on the rise. Parents need to know the risks of social media use and put limits in place to protect their teens.
Substance abuse and addiction is a widespread problem among teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (an umbrella term preferred by many, particularly young people). Internal conflict and confusion, omnipresent societal norms and expectations, and often overt discrimination all contribute to the risk of substance abuse that these teens face.
As a parent, it’s not easy to hear scary statistics about teens and drinking. Teenagers abuse alcohol more than any other substance, and many pay a price for their drinking. From accidents to missed school and poor grades to fatalities, drinking and teens is a disturbing topic. However, as a parent you have a responsibility to be aware so that you can protect your children. Know and understand teenage drinking statistics and prepare a plan to make sure your teen understands the risks of alcohol and makes good choices.
You experienced what every parent dreads: a teen with a drug or alcohol addiction. You got her the help she needed. She went through a rehab program and was successful at getting sober. Not only that, but she was able to get back to high school, graduate and get accepted to colleges. All the while you’ve had her under your roof and your supervision, and you’re terrified to send her off to a college campus. Is it possible? Or are you tempting fate and putting her in a position to relapse? These are important questions to ask and to discuss with your teen.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the stimulant drugs used to treat it are increasingly ubiquitous. Adderall, Ritalin and similar medications are in high demand as ADHD diagnoses have skyrocketed in recent years, but not all of these prescriptions are being used for their intended purposes. Prescription stimulants have also become a popular drug for teenagers to abuse.
The most recent results of the Monitoring the Future study—an annual study of teen substance use habits—found that approximately 6.8 percent of teens have abused Adderall, while approximately 1.8 percent have abused Ritalin.
Certain groups of teenage drinkers have heightened chances of drinking rapidly enough and heavily enough to experience alcohol-related blackouts, according to new findings from a team of British and American researchers.
Alcohol blackouts are episodes of short-term amnesia associated with the excessive and frequently rapid intake of liquor or other alcoholic beverages. Many of the people who experience these episodes meet the criteria for diagnosing alcohol dependence (alcoholism) and/or non-addicted alcohol abuse. In a study published in January 2015 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers from two American universities and one British university looked at the common patterns of alcohol-related blackout that appear in teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 19. The researchers also looked at the factors that help predict blackouts in any given person in this age range.