Drug abuse and addiction affect every demographic. Whether you’re 16 or 60, you’re not immune to the risk of substance abuse. However, for teens the problem is especially damaging. See the scope of the epidemic with the following statistics revealing the prevalence of teen drug abuse.
More Teens Use Marijuana Than Smoke Cigarettes
Many parents are shocked to learn that, among high school students in the United States, teens use marijuana more than tobacco. While a small percentage of high school students smoke cigarettes, a much larger portion use marijuana in some form. This is surprising, because tobacco use is generally more common than drug use. However, this information shows that most teens use marijuana regularly.
60 Percent of High School Seniors See Marijuana as Harmless
Over the past few decades, the attitude toward marijuana has shifted significantly. Today, a full 60 percent of high school seniors think marijuana is harmless. Even those teens who don’t use marijuana still assume the substance is safe.
This mindset is likely because of lax marijuana consumption laws in many states. A lot of states allow medicinal marijuana consumption, and some states even allow recreational use. Unfortunately, this attitude increases use among impressionable teens. It can also be to blame for the rising numbers of teens struggling with marijuana addiction.
Drug Education and Awareness from Parents Can Help
Talking about substance abuse with teens isn’t easy. However, it can make a tremendous impact. By some estimates, drug awareness and education talks from parental figures reduce drug use significantly. That’s a great reason to talk with teens and adolescents about the risks and dangers of addiction.
Experimentation Is Seen as Normal Among Teens
One of the biggest motivators behind increased teen drug use is the idea that dangerous substances aren’t problematic. In reality, this mindset couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, half of all teenagers believe that using crack cocaine just once or twice is harmless. Nearly forty percent feel the same way about heroin.
Experimenting just once or twice with a drug like heroin, however, could mean a lifelong addiction. A staggering 23 percent of people who try heroin just once can develop an addiction. Thus, more awareness about the risks of drug abuse is a necessity for teens.
Fighting Back Against Teen Drug Abuse
Parents should recognize the signs of drug abuse. If they don’t identify substance abuse early, an addiction is more likely to develop. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, resources are available to help people achieve optimal health and sobriety. Treatments include:
Teen drug abuse is a growing epidemic. However, help is always available. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, teens and their parents can find ideal recovery support. Call 866-319-6126 to learn more about embracing sobriety with teenage drug addiction treatment.