Your Teen May be Using Drugs
Teens Start Young
Surely it is only older teens that are using drugs, right? Unfortunately this isn’t true. Teens, and even preteens, are experimenting with drugs, cigarettes and drinking. Statistics for drug abuse and underage drinking tell us that 15 percent of eighth graders have already tried marijuana. Just as many eighth graders have already smoked cigarettes. Even more are drinking. Nearly one-third of students in the eighth grade have tried drinking at least once.
Marijuana is Number One
We also know that drug abuse among teenagers largely centers on marijuana. Young people, and adults too, tend to view marijuana as much less risky than harder drugs. This can be a dangerous viewpoint. While marijuana may be less harmful than heroin, it does carry certain risks and dangers, especially for teens. In spite of these risks, marijuana is the most abused drug among teenagers. Up to 43 percent of high school seniors have used marijuana.
Teens Abuse Prescriptions and Hard Drugs
While marijuana and alcohol are the most abused substances by teens, too many are also trying other harmful substances. Nearly nine percent of teens have tried a hallucinogenic drug like magic mushrooms or LSD. About ten percent have tried a designer or synthetic drug like bath salts. Eight percent have abused prescription Adderall, a medication used to treat ADHD. Five percent of high school seniors have tried cocaine. Prescription painkillers are newer as substances of abuse, but teens are using them and getting them from people they know. Most get prescription drugs from a family member or friend, and 60 percent of teens say that they know of drugs being kept and used in their school.
Statistics on substance abuse in teens are clear. A lot of young people are using drugs. Some are experimenting and will not become addicted or suffer other serious consequences. Others will be devastated by the impact of substance abuse. Some may become addicts, while others will die because of drug use. If you feel certain that your teen would never use drugs, you should think again. One positive statistic says that teens whose parents talk to them about drug use are much less likely to experiment. Talk to your teen today and tell him in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate drug use. You can empower him to make the right choices when it comes to drugs.